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Johnstown City Council tables anti-discrimination ordinance

JOHNSTOWN -- An anti-discrimination ordinance was tabled by Johnstown City Council Wednesday night.

The vote comes after dozens of protesters both in support of, and against, the bill came together to voice their opinions earlier Wednesday afternoon.

If the bill was passed, it would have prohibited businesses in the city from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill was tabled on a 4 -2 vote at the meeting.

"I'm glad they tabled it. It was a big issue," said Matthew Stachmus, who protested against the ordinance.

After at least a dozen speeches given from both sides, council made its decision.

"I think we were hoping for the best, and fearing the worst," said Sarah Barrett, who protested to pass the ordinance.

The council's decision may have been weighed based on legal concerns, on a potential lawsuit over the ordinance.

"This law has a number of unintended, serious consequences. The ordinance would become a source of social tension rather than unity," said Craig Minnick, who protested against ordinance.

But Bill 6, a similar ordinance that applies just to the city government itself, was approved.

An LGBT activists said approving one bill gives her hope.

"This is a step where one ordinance passed and that can give some hope that perhaps tabling it is truly fact-finding. Finding more information about how it effects community and moving from there," said Barrett.

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