HOMER — After hearing hours of public testimony Monday night, the Homer City Council in a 5-1 vote rejected a resolution intended to promote "inclusivity" that had grown controversial.
The resolution, co-sponsored by council members Donna Aderhold, Catriona Reynolds and David Lewis, cited recent violence targeting religious groups, minorities and the LGBTQ community. It also officially rejected discrimination against any group with regard to "race, religion, ethnicity, gender, national origin, physical capabilities or sexual orientation" and expressed a commitment to creating a safe, inclusive community.
Reynolds was the sole member voting in favor.
"I have witnessed people who live in our community who have already had to endure an increase of hate and bullying," said Reynolds. "When you aren't (on) the receiving end of abuse because of religion or skin color or sexual orientation, it's easy to think it doesn't happen here. But it does happen here."
More than 100 people packed into Cowles Council Chambers and overflowed into the lobby, and more than 90 gave public testimony over the course of three and a half hours. The majority strongly opposed the resolution.