One Kalamazoo press release courtesy Bilerico

   Kalamazoo residents approve nondiscrimination ordinance

   “Our campaign started with a very basic idea, and today voters confirmed that we are One Kalamazoo,” said Campaign Manager, Jon Hoadley.

   With only absentee ballots outstanding, 65 percent of Kalamazoo voters have approved Ordinance 1856 by a vote of 6,463 to 3,527, adding protections for gay and transgender people to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. This margin is larger than the number of outstanding absentee ballots that are currently being counted.

   “I am elated with the outcome of the election,” says Yes on Ordinance 1856/One Kalamazoo Steering Committee member and local resident Janice Brown. “This vote reinforces what our campaign set out to prove – that our fellow residents of Kalamazoo share the belief that all people should be treated fairly and equally, including gay and transgender people.”

   The outcome of today’s vote confirmed that all hardworking people in Kalamazoo should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families without fear of being fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.

   “Kalamazoo is a great place to live and the passage of Ordinance 1856 makes the city an even better place,” says local resident Rev. Matt Laney, Pastor of the First Congregational Church. “I am proud to live in a city that recognizes that all people deserve fairness and respect.”

   The Yes on 1856/ One Kalamazoo campaign in support of the nondiscrimination ordinance involved hundreds of local volunteers and contributors, and had the endorsement of over 30 local religious, social, business, and political organization. The campaign would like to thank the Kalamazoo community for asserting their belief in the inherent equality of all Kalamazoo residents, and the countless volunteers for their hard work and dedication in recent months – and in some case, years – to ensure the passage of the ordinance.


The Task Force’s Rea Carey, Executive Director:

“This marks an important victory for Kalamazoo, where voters have affirmed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are part of the fundamental social fabric of the city, which now joins nearly 20 other cities in Michigan that have enacted nondiscrimination ordinances. In affirming fairness, voters also rejected a reprehensible right-wing campaign grounded in lies and fear-mongering.

“Congratulations to One Kalamazoo and all the volunteers who ran a strong and successful campaign. One Kalamazoo’s leadership has led to a victory that creates a stronger and more welcoming city for everyone. We thank all those who stood for fairness today.”

Statement by Jon Hoadley, Campaign Manager, One Kalamazoo

“With a resounding ‘yes,’ today Kalamazoo stood for fairness and equality. Now Kalamazoo residents will not have to live in fear of being fired from their jobs, denied housing, or discriminated against in public accommodations, simply for being who they are. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s training, expertise, financial contributions and full-time, on-the-ground staff were a valuable part of our grassroots campaign.”

Statement of Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council:

“Kalamazoo is a leading community in the fight for equality. This Ordinance ensures LGBT families basic protections such as the ability to secure a place to live or eat in a restaurant.. It also enables that LGBT individuals can work and provide for their children and families without the fear of being fired for reasons unrelated to their job performance. The public’s support for LGBT people and these basic protections is great for Kalamazoo and adds to the momentum towards full equality for all families across this country. Jon Hoadley did an outstanding job leading the charge and ensuring this passage of Ordinance 1856.”

One down, two to go!

Washington, you still have 1.5 hours to get your ballot to an official drop box.  


Laurel Ramseyer

Laurel Ramseyer


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