The Richmond Register

April 15, 2014

Danville officials table fairness ordinance


Associated Press

DANVILLE — City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.

The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

The so-called fairness ordnance would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Commissioners must approve the proposal twice before it is adopted.

Commissioners asked city attorney Steven Dexter, who drafted the document with help from City Manager Ron Scott, to review the issues that were discussed and provide a report of on his findings before April 28.

Scott recommended city commissioners hold a workshop to review the correspondence before moving forward.

“We are at a point in time where perhaps we need to have a special workshop to consider all the comments received and additional legal points raised,” Scott said.

City Commissioner Paul Smiley, who made the motion to table the ordinance, said officials shouldn’t rush to a decision.

“Nobody needs to be reminded how long this issue has been before us, but that’s OK,” said Smiley. “If we have new information, we have to look at it and be open-minded. ... As I’ve said many times before, I never make a decision until it’s made right up here,” he said, referring to the area where commissioners sit.

If the ordinance is approved, Danville would join a half-dozen other cities that have passed similar measures.