Saturday, May 17, 2014

Idaho State Journal: Pocatello Voters Asked to Weigh in on Anti-Discrimination Ordinance in May 20 Election

Posted By on Sat, May 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM

It's a case of "no" means "yes," and "yes" means "no" when Pocatello residents are asked to vote on whether the keep the city's nearly 1-year-old anti-discrimination ordinance.

Approved by the Pocatello City Council in June 2013, the ordinance protects LGBT citizens from discrimination in employment and housing. Proposition 1, on the ballot in the Tuesday, May 20, primary election, asks:

"Should the City repeal Ordinance No. 2921, which prohibits discrimination against a person in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations, based up on that person's sexual orientation and gender identity/expression?" 

A "yes" vote would repeal the ordinance, while a "no" would keep it in place.

The Idaho State Journal reports two groups are squared off over the issue: Fair Pocatello, which maintains the ordinance is needed to ensure equal protection for all citizens, and Vote Yes Pocatello, which says the ordinance threatens family values and requires business owners to choose between their beliefs and their livelihoods.

With City Council approval in 2013, Pocatello joined seven other cities with similar nondiscrimination ordinances, including Boise. The measure had been controversial, with a similar effort rejected in April 2013 after lobbying by the conservative Heritage Foundation. The powerful Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also lobbied against the ordinance. 

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