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Cumberland County community passes anti-discrimination ordinance

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CARLISLE, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- A Cumberland County community's anti-discrimination ordinance brought out a heated and passionate discussion Thursday night.

The ordinance would make it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation.

It's not often a borough council meeting draws a standing room only crowd, but the Carlisle discussion of an anti-discrimination ordinance brought out a fired up crowd.

More than 100 people marched into the council meeting to make their voices heard about discrimination.

Alex Bygrave said: I'm a member of the LGBT community who had been discriminated against in the workplace, it means so much to me know that at least in the Carlisle borough that may never happen again."

In a 5-2 vote, Carlisle Borough council passed the ordinance banning discrimination against anyone based on their sexual orientation.

Carlisle resident Christin Kapp said "it makes Carlisle a safe place for all of its citizens. I want to thank you for standing up to those who would try to shout you down."

While most of the crowd was supportive of the ordinance, it was a room divided by some.

One Carlisle resident said "I'm speaking tonight , again I've spoken once before, because I oppose the ordinance."

Councilor Perry Heath, who voted against the ordinance, said he supported the idea of the ordinance, but would have liked an exclusion for conflicts of religious conscience.

"So happy to know that I can rest easy, and that I can get a job here, and not have to worry about what happened to me before, happening again," Bygrave said.

The ordinance goes into effect March 2017. It creates a Human Relations Commission, which will allow people in Carlisle who believe they were discriminated against to file a formal complaint.

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