Posts tagged: antidiscrimination ordinance
In recent months, I communicated that our community has been successfully recovering from the reputation of being discriminatory. This terrible attribute was the result of the Aryan Nation and its wickedness toward people of color – an evil that is condemned by all who have a good “moral compass”. I also told you that the request for the LGBT ordinance may have the potential to revive the national stigma associated with North Idaho. You are making my case. Your recent “My Turn” suggests that a “discussion” about the ordinance will revive our former reputation. I find it odd that in our past discussions we could not see eye to eye about this - and now we agree. Secondly, I also told you that the LGBT ordinance would impose upon the rights of one party or group in order to provide rights to another group or person and therefore does not protect the rights of all people-groups in Coeur d’Alene. In this, we now seem to agree as well/Pastor Paul Van Noy, Candlelight Church. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo, of Pastor Paul Van Noy)
Question: So is the 2013 Coeur d'Alene city elections going to be a rematch between the Christians and the lions?
“During our conversation at the CDA Library I chastised you for falsely and publicly characterizing a person's position without doing the due diligence of first talking to that person. You apologized and assured me it would never happen again and yet here you are doing EXACTLY the same crime” — Brent Regan comment today, on Coeur d'Alene Press online site.
“I just spoke to Tony. He shared his discussion with Brent Regan at the library. This is what Tony told me “Brent approached me and said I have no integrity. My exact response to him was Mr. Regan we did not ask you to resign from the Board. When you did apologize we accepted your apology. That is all I said to him and walked away. There was no other discussion as he indicated” — Christie Wood, president, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.
Tony Stewart has contacted both Huckleberries and Coeur d'Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick to challenge an online statemnt made today in the Press by former Coeur d'Alene school trustee Brent Regan. In an email to Huckleberries, Stewart said: “I was to say the least shocked that Mr. Brent Regan indicated that I apologized to him and it would never happen again. My very words were as told to Christie Wood listed below. I had no reason to apologize. Tom Carter, the Executive Director, of the Human Rights Education Institute was present with me. He can verify the conversation. It is so important to set the record straight and I thank both of you.”
“During our conversation at the CDA Library I chastised you for falsely and publicly characterizing a person's position without doing the due diligence of first talking to that person. You apologized and assured me it would never happen again and yet here you are doing EXACTLY the same crime. If you are to lead the Task Force on Human Relations then perhaps you should invest in the 'relations' part and actually talk to people before you start squawking like Chicken Little. Your apparent inability to be fair minded makes you unfit to serve as a leader of the Task Force and the Board would be wise to consider your 'retirement' before you do further to damage the credibility of that organization.”
Tony Stewart, long-time leader of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations wrote the following open letter to Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Ron Edinger, Dan Gookin, Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers:
I hope all is well with you. I want to share with you what I found deeply troubling regarding the positions of mayoral candidates Mary Souza and Joe Kunka in the “Coeur d’Alene Press” interview on September 12 when addressing the anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the City of Coeur d’Alene on June 4. As one who has spent a lifetime studying and teaching constitutional law and a human rights activist, I find these candidates’ position historically both foreign to and antagonistic toward the democratic principles of freedom and equality for all Americans including all the residents of Coeur d’Alene. We in the human rights community will once again be energized to take a firm stand against discrimination directed toward any of our citizens. I personally oppose the stands of Mr. Kunka and Ms. Souza based upon the following points. List of complaints here.
Updated version of story …
In the end, it came down to a situation Mayor Jared Fuhriman had experienced only once before. The vote Thursday night before a packed Idaho Falls City Council chamber was 3-3. Council members Kenneth Taylor, Ida Hardcastle and Sharon Parry voted in favor of passing the city's anti-discrimination ordinance to protect residents based on gender identity and sexual orientation in two areas: employment and housing. Council members Mike Lehto, Karen Cornwell and Thomas Hally voted against the measure, citing concerns about how this draft came before the council without a third element: public accommodation. Frankly, Fuhriman said, he was surprised it came down to this. The council still was in uncharted waters in some respects, he said/Christina Lords, Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.
Question: Some say that this ordinance protecting LGBT in the areas of transportation and employment isn't any better than no ordinance at all. Do you agree with them?
The city of Idaho Falls will live stream tonight's City Council meeting online to accommodate anticipated additional interest for the second reading of the city's proposed anti-discrimination ordinance. The move comes after a series of three fliers was mailed to 5,000 residents from resident Brett Wright denouncing the inclusion of public accommodations in the ordinance. Wright also produced similar yard signs. The fliers encouraged residents to attend the 7:30 p.m. meeting in the council chambers, 680 Park Ave., as well as contact council members. City spokeswoman Kerry McCullough said residents could be turned away from the meeting to adhere to fire code laws should the chambers reach capacity/Christina Lords, Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.
Question: Apparently, opponents are targetting the “public accommodations part of the proposed law, which already has won council approval. I think that means public services (such as a bakery refusing to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple.) Would this ordinance be acceptable to you without the public accommodations part?
The Coeur d'Alene Press asked the three Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidates to provide their opinions on the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, which was passed earlier this summer (story here):
Question: Which candidate best expresses your feelings on the city's new antidiscrimination ordinance?
Item: Hayden chamber talks anti-discrimination: It is unknown if City Council will address possible ordinance/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Panelists representing both sides of an anti-discrimination ordinance geared at protecting homosexuals discussed why they support or oppose the ordinance Thursday at the Kroc Center during the Hayden Chamber of Commerce's membership breakfast. Whether the Hayden City Council ever takes up the ordinance remains to be seen — nobody is proposing to pitch it that way yet — but supporters said an ordinance wouldn't harm local businesses if it did. They also said cities are doing the right thing by taking on the measure because protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination is an issue Congress should address, but hasn't.
Question: Do you think the 2014 Legislature will address this issue, now that six Idaho cities have?
(Local Republican) Party image was also a concern when Bjorn Handeen (pictured) proposed a resolution to assert the Natural Rights of Contracts and to call on the city of Coeur d'Alene to repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance. He said the resolution was not about gay rights, but rather the freedom for any two parties to willingly enter into a contract or do business with one another. The anti-discrimination ordinance as passed by the city, he said, uses the law to force citizens to do business with someone they might not otherwise choose to do business with. “We don't want to reject gays,” Handeen said. “We want to protect their right to do business with whoever they want.” Committeeman Duane Rasmussen said he was in favor of the intent of the resolution, but he felt the way it was written would make the committee look “goofy.” “This natural rights stuff is going to make us a laughing stock. If not in the public's eyes, it will in the eyes of the legal community,” he said. After a lengthy debate and few parliamentary maneuvers to amend the language the resolution passed on nearly a split vote/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Izzit just me — or did the local GOP back into this one by asserting some Natural Right of Contracts rather than direct opposition to the city's new antidiscrimination law?
A panel featuring human rights advocate Tony Stewart will discuss the recent antidiscrimination ordinance adopted by the city of Coeur d'Alene when the Hayden Chamber of Commerce meets for breakfast at 7 o'clock Thursday, June 27, at the Kroc Center. Stewart will be joined by Idaho state Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, and Coeur d'Alene council members Mike Kennedy and Dan Gookin. A press release for the event reads: “Since there are ongoing efforts to bring similar ordinances to the surrounding communities, there is a potential for this legislation to affect businesses in the Hayden Chamber. In response the Chamber will be hosting a panel of individuals to discuss the impacts on businesses.”
Question: Am I reading the tea leaves correctly — that Hayden will be asked next to approve an antidiscrimination ordinance?
Councilman Dan Gookin: One thing that missing in the overall discussion is the generational difference of opinion regarding equal rights for the LGBT community, i.e., younger people don't seem to have an issue. Just last night, my youngest son returned from his Christian youth group (at RLM, by the way). I explained to him some of the upset. His response? “I have a moral objection to the homosexual lifestyle, but I'm adamant that they not be discriminated against.” He echoed sentiments of my other boys, who also consider themselves Christian. They support the philosophy behind this ordinance.
On her Facebook page, Cathleen Schnur O'Connor posts this photo of demonstrators from both sides outside the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting in which the controversial antidiscrimination ordinance is still being discussed at 11:14 tonight:
Originally posted 11:43 p.m.
Coeur d’Alene, a community that stood up to the racist Aryan Nations and has established a tradition of celebrating human rights, is the latest Idaho city to extend legal protection from discrimination to gay people. Following more than three hours of heartfelt testimony, the City Council voted 5-1 late Tuesday night to add sexual orientation to the city’s anti-discrimination law. Councilman Steve Adams opposed the change, which will take effect within the week. The vote shortly before midnight capped a long night of clashing testimony touching on morality, religious freedom, civil rights and equal protection under the law. Hundreds of people packed the meeting room at the city library, and dozens testified on the proposed change, most of them urging the council to vote no/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: I was surprised by the margin of the vote, thinking it would be 4-2 or 4-3 in favor. How about you?
Christie Wood (re: Anti-bias ordinance OK'd 5-1): It was a long, emotional night, and I know that everyone that testified did so with strong conviction. Some of the words were painful to listen to, and some were very inspiring. Human Rights and dignity for all prevailed. KCTFHR stands tall with our City leaders in rejecting hate in our community. The testimony of our City Council was the most compelling and brought tears to many eyes. Kennedy, Goodlander, McEvers, Edinger, and Gookin spoke from their hearts. I am humbled by their courage, and strength to stand up for all citizens. I would like to declare today “Hug your Councilman Day”. I got started a little after 12:00am this morning when I hugged Councilman Gookin. If you see the rest of them today give them a hug and thank them for their service to our community.
Question: Were you surprised by the margin of the vote?
After almost five hours of lengthy and sometimes heated discussion at the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting tonight, the council appears to be passing the antidiscrimination ordinance. Council members Dan Gookin, Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Deanna Goodlander have announced their intention to vote for the proposal. Councilman Steve Adams has said he was against the ordinance. That's 4-1 with Councilman Mike Kennedy (who is serving as mayor tonight in Mayor Sandi Bloem's absence due to illness) already on record in favor of the ordinance. That's 4 votes. Councilman Woody McEvers is talking. He sounds as though he is going to support the ordinance, too. Councilman Edinger attempted to amend the ordinance that would reduce violation of the ordinance from a misdemeanor to an infraction. But couldn't get a second. Also, Edinger failed to get a second for a motion that would remove the word “transgender” from the ordinance.
A pastor at one of the area's largest churches is asking his congregation to oppose an anti-discrimination ordinance the city of Coeur d'Alene will consider adopting tonight. Real Life Ministries Pastor Jim Putman urged church members in a Facebook post to fight the proposed rule on grounds that would be “a pathway to promoting sin.” “Homosexuality is no worse then [sic] adultery or stealing but it is still sin,” Putman wrote last week. If “someone told me I had to hire or rents [sic] space to a thief I would not like that - neither would I like this.” He wrote that people who support the ordinance believe that homosexuality is not a choice and people are created that way, but “there is no solid scientific evidence for that and the Bible clearly calls it sin”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
At the General Services Committee meeting last week, Councilman Ron Edinger takes a position on the proposed antidiscrimination ordinance (video provided by Coeur d'Alene Channel 19 TV):
Christie Wood, president of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, commented on HuckleberriesOnline over the week:
I read with interest Mary's position on the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance being presented by the Kootenai CountyTask Force on Human Relations. Her statements were very similar to a conversation I had with Councilman Gookin earlier this week. He has made his support for her very public,and they are very good friends so I assume they share similar values. Mary stated she cannot support the ordinance because “There are exceptions for certain groups that don't have to follow that law.” Dan told me that he cannot support it for the same reason. Dan made it very clear to me he supports same sex marriage, and equal rights for the LGBT community.He said there should not be an exception in this ordinance for religious organizations because that still allows for discrimination. He asked me to share his thoughts with the Task Force and I have done so. More here.
On Tuesday, North Idaho politics returns to full boil as the Coeur d’Alene City Council votes on a human rights ordinance that would bar discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We’ve endorsed the ordinance and are encouraged that it’s reached this point. Lake City residents might’ve thought things would simmer down after contentious campaigns for school and hospital boards culminated in a May 21 vote that repudiated the far-right’s push for partisanship in all areas of government. But it’s unlikely to cool off any time soon. Mayor Sandi Bloem has reiterated her decision to leave office, setting up a big battle to replace her. She told Dave Oliveria, of Huckleberries Online, she’s “tired of all this,” a reference to the failed recall bid against her and three council members and the amped-up battles over, well, everything. The battles themselves are part of a larger war for control of the Republican Party/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.
Question: How will the vote on the antidiscrimination ordinance come out Tuesday?