Hailey To Become 11th Idaho Town With Gay Rights Law

Apr 21, 2015

Credit Tim Connor / Flickr Creative Commons

Hailey is set to become the 11th city in Idaho to pass a non-discrimination ordinance. The law – which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity – comes after the Idaho Legislature failed to pass a similar statewide measure earlier this year.

Hailey city attorney Ned Williamson drafted the ordinance, and says he looked to Boise's 2012 law as a model.

The law prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations (like restaurants and stores) based on a person's sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

"One thing that was notable to me was the lack of any opposition," says Williamson. "I wasn't sure what to expect, frankly everybody I talked to thought it was appropriate and there was no reason for any differential treatment for anybody."

There is no statewide law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) Idahoans from this kind of discrimination. The Idaho Legislature held a hearing on a similar non-discrimination measure earlier this year, but it didn't pass out of committee.

Williamson says the process to get the ordinance approved has moved quickly, and it passed a first reading this week and will go through two more before becoming law in late May. 

Violation of the ordinance would be a misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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