TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Supporters and opposition to Topeka City Councilman Chad Manspeaker's equality package spoke their minds Tuesday night in an attempt to sway the council vote, which ultimately sided with what the LGBT community considered a win for their cause.
Councilman Chad Manspeaker said the 60th anniversary of the Brown v Board ruling was the perfect time for his equality package, he says a domestic registry for same-sex and opposite sex partners falls in line with the same justice Topekans sought to change 60 years ago. "The First Lady, in her speech on Friday, spoke specifically about this issue, the LGBT issue. I think her message from that speech was that we all need to do the hard work to move this community forward," said Manspeaker.
Topekans had polarizing views on the topic. Jim Lord, in opposition to the ordinances said, "For us to begin to talk in terms of a registry and pretend that we are married? It goes squarely against what God had in mind."
Vocal supporter of the ordinances, Pedro Inigonegaray, said, " The registry provides dignity to individuals being denied dignity that under the the law, they deserve."
After 19 public comments, the council passed the ordinance with Councilwoman Ortiz, Schwartz and Councilman Harmon voting against.
A second ordinance added gender identity as a protected class and again brought heavy opposition.
Francis Slobodnik, who was in opposition of the ordinance said, "We believe these are the stepping stones of a lifestyle that we think is morally unhealthy."
The council vote fell in line with the first, passing with Ortiz, Schwartz and Harmon casting no votes.
"The major effect it has on our city is it tells the rest of the world that Topeka is an open and inclusive community. We look forward to grow in that direction," said, Councilman Manspeaker