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Rural Border Town Becomes Idaho's 8th City To Approve Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Eric Fredricks
Flickr Creative Commons

A small town on Idaho's border with Wyoming is the latest city to approve employment, housing and public accommodation protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Victor, Idaho is the eighth city to approve a non-discrimination ordinance. It says people can’t be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  

Mayor Zach Smith says Victor’s City Council unanimously approved the measure because it’s a “fairness and equality issue.”

He says there haven’t been a lot of instances of discrimination in Victor.

“It’s the job of a city to take care of the health, safety and welfare of citizens, and this ordinance does exactly that,” Smith says.

Victor has fewer than 2,000 residents, many of whom work in nearby Jackson Hole, Wyo. Victor’s economy is largely service-based, catering to tourists and recreationists.

Seven other Idaho cities, including Boise, Pocatello, and Ketchum, have passed similar protections because the state Legislature has refused to update Idaho's human rights act to include anti-discrimination language that protects LGBT people.

The ordinance will go into effect Monday, June 16. Mayor Smith says it’s unlikely the ordinance will be challenged.

“It doesn’t matter, Republican or Democrat, people believe people should have equal rights,” Smith adds. “I would say 90 percent of the community is for this ordinance.”

Find Emilie Ritter Saunders on Twitter @emiliersaunders

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