The Ketchum City Council will have a second reading of a citywide LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance on January 7 and could decide on its passage that evening, which would make it the third Idaho city to adopt such an ordinance in the last year.

The meeting begins at 5:30 PM at Ketchum City Hall, 480 E. Ave. N. Public testimonies will be accepted and may also be emailed in advance to city administrative clerk Katie Carnduff at kcarnduff@ketchumidaho.org. For more information, call Carnduff at 208.726.3841. A copy of the council’s agenda can be found here.

An Idaho municipality would ordinarily adopt an ordinance after three public readings, but a city council may dispense with that rule and pass an ordinance before the third reading if a majority votes to do so. If the ordinance is not adopted on January 7, a third and final reading would be held during the council’s Jan. 22 meeting, Carnduff said.

If passed, Ketchum, located 155 miles east of Boise and adjacent to Sun Valley, would be the third Idaho city to adopt an ordinance prohibiting discriminatory acts in housing, employment and public accommodations based upon sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. In north Idaho, the Sandpoint City Council passed an ordinance in December 2011, followed by the Boise City Council voting unanimously in favor of an ordinance just last month. The Ketchum council held its first reading of the ordinance in early December and Mayor Randy Hall has publicly expressed his support.

Work at the city level to protect LGBTQ residents in Idaho has increased in the last year, following the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee’s decision in February 2012 to deny printing of a statewide bill that would have supported adding the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. The ACLU of Idaho, a Pride Foundation 2012 grantee, has acted as a key player in the city ordinance education work statewide.

The City of Pocatello in the eastern part of the state has also started exploring the idea of implementing a citywide LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance. Pocatello already has a non-discrimination employment policy in place for its city employees with language protection for both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

Steve Martin is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Idaho. Email Steve.

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Posted In: Blog, Building Organizations, Blog, Idaho