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Nondiscrimination Ordinance Approved In Boise, City Council Cites “Civic Responsibility”

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Frankie Barnhill
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s capitol city became the second community in the state to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance. Boise’s City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The ordinance takes effect on January first.

More than 150 people gave Boise’s City Council  a standing ovation after they approved the ordinance.  

Three weeks earlier, the city council took public testimony on the ordinance. That meeting lasted almost five hours. Council president Maryanne Jordan recalled that hearing, saying it was the most profound experience she’s had on the council.

“And if this ordinance can serve to have children in our community feel valued in a way that they may not have before, to go away to school and then to come home to place that they love and know that they can thrive here as adults, then I think we have done our civic responsibility,” Jordan said.

Councilwoman Lauren McLean co-sponsored the ordinance. She made the motion to pass it Tuesday night. "We know no one in our community should fear losing a job, losing their home, or being turned away at a restaurant for who they are or who they love and this makes that official,” McLean explained.

Sandpoint passed a similar ordinance in 2011. Pocatello is considering a nondiscrimination measure. Currently there is no statewide protection to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio 

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.