GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Several cities all over Michigan have laws on the books protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation. In West Michigan, those cities include Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Saugatuck.
An effort to add similar sexual orientation language to an anti-discrimination ordinance in Holland failed 5-4 in 2011. Wednesday's Supreme Court decision has advocates hoping it might get another shot.
"This definitely makes the possibility of a re vote in Holland seem less extraordinary. It almost seems more natural now," Eric Wilson said.
Wilson is a member of the LGBT rights group "Until Love is Equal." He is one of the founding members of the group, which formed in response to the city council's vote in 2011.
Anyone can witness the permanent 'equal' sign Wilson has tattooed on his arm. He said Wednesday that equality is all he wants for the LGBT community. While he is not gay, Wilson said he thought it was that much more important for him to speak up for those whose rights, he felt, were being trampled on.
Wilson took the high court's ruling as a good sign for the future.
"It's just one more confirmation that this is the direction that we're going in and it's the direction that we started in," Wilson said.
Wilson is now hoping the city will take up the issue again.
"The hope is that it would inspire some of the lawmakers in Holland that we're going one way with equality so reconsider," Wilson said.
Holland mayor Kurt Dykstra spoke over the phone with 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. He said he didn't have a comment, and didn't see how the Supreme Court's decision would affect an ordinance in Holland. Council member Brian Burch had a similar message. Both Burch and Dykstra voted against the measure in 2011.
While city officials didn't have much of a comment, those who oppose gay marriage did. The president of the American Family Association of Michigan, Gary Glenn, told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone that his group expected LGBT advocates to try to get the anti-discrimination law up for a revote – whether or not the high court made this decision.
Glenn said his group thinks including sexual orientation into anti-discrimination laws is actually discriminatory in itself, and he said his group will fight as hard as possible to make sure it doesn't become law in Holland.
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