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Posts tagged: gender identity

Sandpoint Bans Sex Orientation Bias

Sandpoint city attorney Scot Campbell walked along downtown Sandpoint on Wednesday. He drafted Sandpoint's new non-discrimination ordinance for sexual orientation and gender identity. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce President Kate McAlister wasn’t expecting it when a woman in her 60s walked up to her at a community event, hugged her and started crying. “She said, ‘I want you to know that because of what you did, for the first time in all our lives I can take my partner to a Christmas party without fear of being fired,’ ” McAlister recalled. This was after McAlister helped push through a citywide ordinance in Sandpoint barring discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In Idaho, it’s still legal to fire someone because they’re gay, or to evict them from their home or deny them service in a restaurant. But it’s no longer legal within the city limits of Sandpoint/Betsy Z. Russell, SR. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Sandpoint was the first city in Idaho that has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity?

No Hearing Set For Anti-Bias Bill

Since 2007, state lawmakers have rejected legislation to ban discrimination in Idaho against people who are gay, lesbian or transgender. And Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie says this year will be no different. McKenzie chairs the Senate State Affairs Committee and says he doesn't plan to schedule a hearing on a bill introduced in the 2011 session to ban workplace and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity/Associated Press. More here.

Reaction?

Bill Would Expand Anti-Bias Law

Idaho’s state Human Rights Commission has endorsed legislation adding sexual orientation to the state’s anti-discrimination law. Just two years ago, the commission opposed such legislation and lawmakers refused to introduce it. This year, the legislation already has been introduced, and Senate Minority Leader Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello, pictured, says he’s hopeful lawmakers will consider it, especially now that the Human Rights Commission has voted 7-2 in favor of it. … At least 20 states, including Washington, ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But Idaho lawmakers have rejected the idea repeatedly over the past decade, most recently in 2009. That year, the commission voted 5-4 against backing it/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will the 2011 Legislature expand the anti-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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