Coeur d'Alene Makes Waves With Gay, Lesbian Ordinance

By Paige Browning

The reaction is split in Coeur d’Alene after the city council passed an ordinance banning gay and lesbian discrimination Tuesday night.

Coeur d’Alene joins a movement of Idaho cities responding locally to sexual orientation issues, which the state legislature has refused to address. The ordinance bans housing and employment discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people.

In the traditionally conservative town, hundreds of people wanted to testify, mostly against it, stretching the meeting to midnight. Supporters are overjoyed.

“A tremendous message across Idaho and around the country, and it certainly sends a message to the legislature, you have failed to act for years. It just shows a lot of integrity by the city,” said Tony Stewart who co-founded the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.

The one no-vote came from council member Steve Adams, who says he’d prefer the state or federal government take it up instead.

“I’m not a homophobic, I am a Christian. But I stand on the word of God and I’m not going to support an immoral lifestyle and I’m not going to grant a lifestyle preference a special privilege.”

The cities of Boise, Sandpoint, Moscow and Ketchum have already passed similar anti-discrimination measures.

Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio

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