Moscow’s Anti-discrimination Ordinance sent back for Revisions

Moscow, Idaho

The Moscow Administrative Council voted Monday night to send a proposed ordinance prohibiting LGBT discrimination back to the two committees responsible for crafting it.

The ordinance, which would prohibit discrimination in areas of housing and employment based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is a collaboration between the Human Rights Commission and the Fair and Affordable Housing Commission.

City Attorney Randy Fife drafted the ordinance and presented it to the City of Moscow Administrative Committee on Monday night.

Jim Huggins, head of GetEQUAL Idaho, attended the meeting. He reports Fair and Affordable Housing Commission’s Ken Nagy told the committee that in some cases discrimination in housing is necessary, based on past rental history etc. but that it’s wrong to discriminate, “just because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity”. According to Huggins, Nagy’s was the only testimony taken during the meeting.

According to Moscow City Councilman Tom Lamar,”The City administrative committee action of sending it forward to the two citizen commissions was not so much for edits, but rather asking for review and input. There were no edits or modification requested by the Council Committee.”

The draft will be presented for a public hearing sometime in March or April. Following the hearing, it will return to the Administrative Committee, who will then decide whether or not to pass it on to the full city council. Huggins speculates that if all goes well, the ordinance should be in front of the city council sometime in May.

If passed, Moscow would join Sandpoint, Boise, and Ketchum in banning LGBT discrimination within city limits. There is speculation that Idaho Falls and Pocatello may be the next cities to take up the matter. Leaders in both towns have previously expressed interest in the idea.

For the seventh time in as many years, Idaho lawmakers will once again be asked to amend the state’s Human Rights Act to include the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” on a state-wide level.

Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, (D) Boise, says that she’s prepared to sponsor the measure this session. The language of the bill would be similar to last year’s proposed amendment, with a few minor changes.

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6 Responses to Moscow’s Anti-discrimination Ordinance sent back for Revisions

  1. Skeptical says:

    I don’t see what good this law will do. It’s a feel-good measure, nothing more. It’s very hard to prove why someone was discriminated against and the landlord or employer can just come up with another reason. I care deeply about LGBTQ rights but this sort of law won’t do any good.

    • James Tidmarsh says:

      @Skeptical I can see your point, however. a: anti-discrimnation laws have been shown to not only make a community safer as a whole but they are also effective when and if proven discrimination does rise. (It happens.) b: The same could be said for any of the other laws barring discrimination against race,age etc. They aren’t the end all solution to ending discrimination, but again, research suggests that they are proven to be an effective tool for combating the problem.-JT

  2. Amy says:

    My question is why not feel good about Idaho for a change?

  3. Tom Lamar says:

    The City administrative committee action of sending it forward to the two citizen commissions was not so much for edits, but rather asking for review and input. There were no edits or modification requested by the Council Committee.

  4. jamestidmarsh says:

    Thank you for the clarification Tom. I’ll update the story accordingly.-JT

  5. Pingback: Moscow Advances Anti-Discrimination Ordinance | The Idaho Agenda

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