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Tucker City Council passes nondiscrimination ordinance after mayor leaves the room

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Tucker City Council passes nondiscrimination ordinance after mayor leaves the room

FILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: L to R, Council Member Alexis Weaver, Council Member Cara Schroeder, Council Member Roger Orlando, Mayor Frank Auman, Mayor Pro Tem Anne Lerner, Council Member Noelle Monferdini, Council Member Virginia Rece. Photo by Sara Amis

Update: To read our full story about the Tucker City Council meeting, click here.

Here is our original story …

Tucker, GA — After a lengthy process beginning in 2019, and voluminous public debate, the Tucker City Council passed a nondiscrimination ordinance at its regular meeting on June 12, 2023.

The ordinance was written by Councilmember Virginia Rece, Councilmember Cara Schroeder, and Mayor Pro Tem Anne Lerner. An NDO working group was formed in April 2022 which included Lerner, Schroeder, and Rece.

The ordinance creates legal definitions in the city code for age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and veteran. It declares that people have a right to be free from discrimination regarding seeking or keeping employment, enjoying public accommodations, obtaining housing, and being free from retaliation for exercising those rights. It also establishes a means of enforcing the ordinance and handling discrimination complaints. 

Mayor Frank Auman, who has long been opposed to the ordinance, offered five amendments to the ordinance, all of which died lacking a second. Some of Auman’s proposed amendments included adding a political party as a protected category under the ordinance and adding a genuine statement of religious belief as a valid defense for violating the ordinance. He also suggested holding a referendum on the ordinance.

Auman then spoke against the ordinance for a further thirty minutes and excused himself from the meeting just before the council voted.

City Attorney Ted Baggett advised Lerner that the city council had a quorum and could call the question. After the council reconvened, Auman asked that his vote be recorded as a no.

The ordinance passed 6-1.

This is a breaking story that will be updated when more information is available. 

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