Public Comment Coming on New Pocatello Non-discrimination Ordinance

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Updated: 6/04/2013 9:14 pm

This Thursday the Pocatello City Council will begin a new round of discussion on the latest version of a non-discrimination ordinance. Mayor Brian Blad voted down the last version saying it was too divisive.

The latest version of the ordinance creates a number of exceptions where discrimination based on sexual preference or gender identity would be permissible. Those include businesses with fewer than five employees, organizations that employ peopled for religious purposes and housing where the unit is a duplex or when a room could be rented by a family living in a home. It also mandates that gender designated on a person's state issued identification would determine which bathroom or locker room facilities that person would use.

In an interview Monday with KPVI News 6 Mayor Blad said he is content with the exceptions that are now included but he isn't sure that all members of the city council are.
"It's a hard thing to do. We don't have a perfect ordinance. We don't have a great ordinance. I'm not even sure we have a good ordinance. But I think we have a better ordinance than was there. I think it still needs a lot of work so I'm interested to see where the council goes goes with it."

There is an idea being floated to postpone a vote on this ordinance until January. That would be after an election for the mayor and a number of city council members. Mayor Blad said he is supportive of that idea if the rest of the council is.

The current version of this ordinance is attached to this story. The council meeting starts Thursday at 6 PM in the Pocatello City Council Chambers at the Pocatello City Hall.

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