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Attacks follow Holland's gay rights no vote | News

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Attacks follow Holland's gay rights no vote

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Holland City Council members who voted in favor of amending an ordinance to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation are now facing an organized effort to remove them from office.

The Holland City Council defeated a proposal that would add sexual orientation to the city's civil rights policy.

The proposed amendment was brought to the city council to protect gay citizens against discrimination. The proposal was defeated in a 5-to-4 split decision.

Since then, Michigan anti-gay rights crusader Gary Glenn has called the proposal "dangerous."

Glenn is the President of the American Family Association and The Campaign for Michigan Families. He tells WZZM 13 News that his organization will financially help support candidates who run against any of the three council members who voted yes for the failed proposal and are involved in the city's upcoming election.

"I think we need to lose this image that we are a little too conservative an unwelcoming," said 2nd Ward Commissioner Jay Peters. "These kinds of things from the American Family Association only try to keep that going."

Peters is one of the council members who voted yes and is the only among three members running for re-election who is challenged by opponents. The deadline to file was May 10. Any other challengers will have to write in. Glenn promises support.

"There's got to be a place where Mr. Glenn has got to focus his interest and try to do some good somewhere else," said Peters.

Meanwhile, a movement on Facebook to boycott Holland business is growing. A group called "I'm Boycotting Holland Until Love is =" now has close to 500 members.

"It's a knee-jerk reaction," said Business Owner Bob Schulze.

Schulze owns Globe Vision in downtown, Holland. He calls the movement shortsighted and ironic, saying that he and many area business owners supported the measure.

"I'm not that upset and I'm really not that nervous," he said. "I think they will see that they probably don't want to hurt the businesses that are for the issue."