Idaho GOP Considers Reversing Local Non-Discrmination Laws

Jun 14, 2013

The Idaho Republican Party’s state central committee will meet in McCall Saturday. Members will talk about possible rule changes and resolutions. One topic up for discussion: the committee will take a closer look at six cities which have passed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) protections. One idea on the table would support new legislation to reverse those protections.

Steve Smith owns a law firm in Sandpoint. Smith wrote one of those resolutions the committee will consider. He became concerned that the non-discrimination ordinance on Sandpoint’s books was having a negative effect on business.

“To have little pockets around the state where there is unusual legislation in the form of ordinances," says Smith, "it does have a chilling effect on commerce statewide.”

The Sandpoint attorney says the decision to ban discrimination based on gender identify and sexual orientation shouldn’t be left to cities. He says the state legislature has and should continue to be the authority here.

“The state of Idaho has in place a non-discrimination statute and has for years and it has served us well.”  

A similar resolution to reverse local non-discrimination ordinances is being proposed  by the Idaho County Republican Central Committee.

Sandpoint, Boise, Ketchum, Moscow, Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello have LGBT protections on the books. Idaho Falls is also considering similar protections through a city-wide ordinance.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio