ISLAND OF ACCEPTANCE Sandpoint Is Only Idaho City to Ban Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

By Russell, Betsy Z | The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), August 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

ISLAND OF ACCEPTANCE Sandpoint Is Only Idaho City to Ban Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity


Russell, Betsy Z, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)


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.

"When it passed, there was a round of applause from the audience," said Sandpoint Mayor Marsha Ogilvie, who added that she was surprised to learn that Sandpoint was the first Idaho city to enact such a law. Pocatello is now drafting a similar ordinance that its City Council could vote on this fall, and Boise is looking into an ordinance.

"If tiny little Sandpoint can do this, anybody can do it," McAlister said. "I'm not sure what's stopping us."

MORMON CHURCH BACKED ORDINANCES IN UTAH

Idaho appears to be in the early stages of a process that's already happened in neighboring states. In Oregon, a dozen cities and counties had passed local nondiscrimination ordinances regarding sexual orientation before a statewide nondiscrimination law was enacted in 2007. In Washington, local laws also were passed in a dozen cities and counties before a statewide law passed in 2006.

Spokane's local ordinance passed in 1999; Seattle's passed in the 1970s.

In Utah, 15 cities and counties have now enacted nondiscrimination ordinances for sexual orientation, including Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County, which did so with the strong support of the Mormon church, the state's dominant religious organization.

But Utah hasn't yet passed a state law, despite repeated attempts in the Legislature. And in Washington, the process was a long one: Abill was introduced every year for 29 years before it finally passed.

Doug Honig of the Washington ACLU said local ordinances can help pave the way for statewide nondiscrimination laws. "Certainly it builds momentum,"Honig said. "It gives parts of the state experience in having laws like that, and showing the rest of the state that these laws can work and be effective. It also builds a comfort level among legislators when you've had laws like this at local jurisdictions."

Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, which pushed for that state's law, said: "Most Americans don't realize that in many places it is still legal to be fired, denied housing or thrown out of a business for being gay. While a statewide,or even a nationwide,policy would be great, passing local ordinances provides the opportunity to build grass-roots support and educate the public. It lays important groundwork with both the public and policymakers across a state."

Idaho lawmakers have rejected legislation each year for the past six years to add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the state's Human Rights Act, which now bans discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age or disability. In many of those years, including this year, lawmakers refused to even allow the bill to be introduced.

Advocates were stunned at the party-line vote against introducing the bill this year, after a statewide outpouring of support for it that included well-attended rallies, including one that drew more than a thousand people to the state Capitol.

Five Idaho cities, including Boise, Moscow and Caldwell, already have personnel policies for their city employees prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. But those policies don't affect discrimination by other employers in the cities, or in housing or public accommodations, like restaurants and hotels. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

ISLAND OF ACCEPTANCE Sandpoint Is Only Idaho City to Ban Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.