Positions in the debate over human rights protection for gays and lesbians in St. Paul have been clearly staked out for months.
Campaign 90’s, the group seeking to maintain the ordinance, argues that gay people need to be protected by law from discrimination in housing, employment, education and public services. Citizens Alert, the group which successfully organized a petition drive to repeal the ordinance earlier this year believes the rights protected by the ordinance are nothing more than special privileges. It also alleges that the ordinance will result in an avalanche of lawsuits filed by gays against churches and other social organizations like the Boy Scouts. In recent days there’s been a flurry of debates in the media between the two sides with the appearance that both sides are trying to win new converts. We hear from Susan Kimberly, manager of Campaign 90, and Midday excerpts from Bob Fletcher, spokesperson for Ciizens Alert, who declined to be interviewed for this story. Also included are comments from Bob Tracy of the the St. Paul Foundation and B. J. Metzger, Campaign 90s chair.