- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Nine Manhattan pastors are pushing for sexual orientation and gender identity protections.

The Manhattan Mercury (http://bit.ly/1IGl7M1 ) reports that the pastors want the protections added to an anti-discrimination ordinance. Richard Gehring, co-pastor at Manhattan Mennonite Church, read a letter Tuesday during the Manhattan City Commission meeting to push for employment, housing and public accommodation protections.

Gehring says the pastors felt the need to speak because religion is often cited as a justification for discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The pastors’ statement came after the Flint Hills Human Rights Project advocated for sexual orientation and gender identity protections during a commission meeting last month.

In 2011, the commission passed and then repealed an ordinance that placed sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in areas of employment.

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Information from: The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, http://www.themercury.com

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