SIOUX CITY | The chairman of the city Human Rights Commission told City Council members Tuesday that the panel is moving forward despite questions regarding the appointment of a board member.

“We carry out our duties,” said Jim Rixner, during an annual meeting with the council.

The council has been criticized for appointing Scott Raasch to a three-year term on the 11-member commission, on July 8. The panel enforces anti-discrimination laws and works to prevent bias in the community.

The Rev. Cary Gordon, executive pastor of Cornerstone World Outreach, asked the council to remove him because of comments Raasch posted on Gordon’s Facebook page in December 2010. The comments were critical of Gordon’s role in urging voters to remove three state Supreme Court judges over their ruling that legalized gay marriage. Raasch is gay.

Raasch in one comment called church members “haters and bigots.”

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The issue was not discussed at the Tuesday meeting. The council each year meets with the commission to discuss goals and plans.

Council members John Fitch, Rhonda Capron and Keith Radig took part. Mayor Bob Scott and Councilman Tom Padgett were out of town.

State law allows the council to remove commission members. The next time the council can vote on the removal is Aug. 12.

Raasch attended the joint meeting Tuesday and said he plans to go to the commission’s monthly meeting.

He said he hopes to remain a member.

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