- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Gay rights advocates in Springfield are considering their next steps after the repeal of an anti-discrimination ordinance that provided protection in jobs, housing and public accommodations.

The Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/1HUEZeC ) reports that will continue working to pass statewide nondiscrimination protections. Unofficial returns from Tuesday’s election show the ordinance was repealed by a 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent margin.

“We have seen powerful growth in Springfield through this campaign, and we are so proud of this community, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s vote,” said Stephanie Perkins, deputy director of PROMO, a statewide gay rights advocacy group.

The Springfield City Council last October added LGBT residents to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. Opponents collected signatures resulting in the ordinance going to a public vote.

The statewide Missouri Nondiscrimination Act will be heard by the House Criminal Proceedings Committee next week.

“Just as we saw in Springfield, there is support from both Democrats and Republics from many areas and backgrounds,” Perkins said.

An event called #AllSpringfieldians: LGBT Support Demonstration organized through Facebook has been scheduled for Friday. More than 1,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend the demonstration.

An online fundraising project, organized by Megan Needham, is also being held to collect $170 to buy 250 “window clings” that say “This Business Is Inclusive.” As of Tuesday night, about $715 had been raised.

Needham plans to donate the additional funds to GLO center, which is a local nonprofit that provides resources to the LGBT community in southwest Missouri.

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