City plans to withdraw anti-discrimination ordinance

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Sioux Falls City Council will not be making any decisions on a measure addressing LGBT protections.
The city attorney's office plans to withdraw the ordinance, which would have added gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of classes protected by municipal rules.
City council members couldn't say exactly why the city attorney's office wants to withdraw the ordinance, but they did say there are more questions that need to be answered.
Hearing that the anti-discrimination ordinance is going to be off the table for a while, is disappointing for LGBT rights advocates.

“This ordinance is so important to pass because it tells the community of Sioux Falls that discrimination is not ok,” Sioux Falls Center for Equality president Thomas Christensen said.

City council members got word of the city attorney's office wanting to withdraw Tuesday afternoon.
Greg Neizert says he understands why the administration might want to pump the breaks.

“The administration did not tell the public what the implications of this were, it was sold as a house keeping measure and it's a big deal. So I just think it needs to be something that the community can decide,” Neizert explained.

He also has some other worries.

“If a particular church or demonization has a particular viewpoint that that they would not be able to express it or they would not be able to make hiring for firing decisions of say a pastor,” he said.

City council members have conflicting interpretations of the ordinance.
Michelle Erpenbach says churches won’t be affected.

“This is not about churches, this is not about the mall this is not this is not about schools, this is about people who work for the City of Sioux Falls,” Erpenbach said.

She says people need to remember what this ordinance is all about.

So for now members of the Sioux Falls Center for Equality will work to educate people about the ordinance.
City council members were supposed to vote on the ordinance June 14th.
Now they will be looking for a motion to withdraw on that date.
Council members says they don't know when this ordinance will be brought to the council again.