On June 2nd, The Bozeman City Commission passed a fully inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.

The passage of this important policy comes after years of organizing and working with City Commissioners.  The non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. These legal rights are critical for the LGBTQ community, who routinely face workplace discrimination, receive fewer benefits, and pay higher taxes.

The introduction of the NDO at the end of May brought approximately 400 people to the City Commission Chambers.  The hearing lasted a total of six hours, at which time the Commissioners discussed and voted on the measure.  The vote was 4-0 with Mayor Krauss absent.  Two weeks later the NDO passed unanimously once again on a 4-0 vote, with Deputy Mayor Carson Taylor absent.  The City also added an amendment that would require nonprofit agencies to follow the non-discrimination ordinance and provide those employed with expanded legal protections.  This is the first NDO in Montana to do that.

We are thrilled to see Bozeman become the fourth community in Montana to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that will protect all of its citizens and those traveling to Bozeman.  Thank you to everyone who helped to champion this effort, including local activists in Bozeman and partner agencies Montana Human Rights Network, ACLU of Montana, and Forward Montana. See below for a collection of photos from the effort.

 

Coalition Members from left:  Jamee Greer, MHRN; Kiah Abbey, Forward Montana; Kim Leighton, Pride Foundation; Niki Zupanic, ACLU of Montana – Standing with the Support Bozeman NDO signs after the NDO passed 2nd reading.

Coalition Members from left: Jamee Greer, MHRN; Kiah Abbey, Forward Montana; Kim Leighton, Pride Foundation; Niki Zupanic, ACLU of Montana – Standing with the Support Bozeman NDO signs after the NDO passed 2nd reading.

 

Local supporters and Bozeman residents hold signs encouraging passage of the Bozeman Non Discrimination Ordinance outside of City Hall.

Local supporters and Bozeman residents hold signs encouraging passage of the Bozeman NDO outside City Hall.

 

Signs updated

Signs made with talking points on the back for supporters to use during public comment.

 

The Support Bozeman NDO sign sitting below a picture of Bozeman outside of the hearing room.

The Support Bozeman NDO sign sitting below a picture of Bozeman outside of the hearing room.

 

Pride Foundation Board Member, Greg Smith stands with Kim Leighton – Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Montana – following final passage of the NDO.

Pride Foundation Board Member, Greg Smith, and Kim Leighton – Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Montana – following final passage of the NDO.

 

Greg and Kim celebrate the final passage of the Bozeman Non Discrimination Ordinance.

Greg and Kim celebrate the final passage of the Bozeman Non Discrimination Ordinance.

 

 

Posted In: Blog, Connecting Leaders, Blog, Montana