Idaho Falls City Council discusses possible anti-bias ordinance

Idaho Falls City Council discusses anti-bias ordinance

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The Idaho Falls City Council discussed the possibility of an anti-bias ordinance at its work session Thursday.

The ordinance would prevent people from being discriminated against at their job, or for housing, or at businesses based on their sexual orientation, race, or gender.

The council unanimously decided to do some research first and ask for public input before taking any action; but they said they would look to the anti-discrimination ordinances passed in Boise, Sandpoint, and Salt Lake City for guidance.

"There's been a lot of discrimination in this area," said Tom Hally, council member.

For Hally, an anti-bias ordinance would mean equality for all and showing others how inclusive the Idaho Falls community can be.

"We're looking for is it the right thing to do," said Hally. "Is it a good philosophy for the City of Idaho Falls to have, accepting citizens?"

Hally is spearheading the effort to study the issue and possibly draft an anti-bias ordinance sometime next year.

"I think it's really important to address this from a knowledgeable perspective and not just jump into it because it's the right thing to do," said Hally. "I think it's the right thing to do, but you need to take the time and do it right."

Council member Sharon Parry said it's important to note that this issue has nothing to do with the Defense of Marriage Act or the legislature's "Add the Words" campaign.

"It is entirely separate," said Parry. "It's Idaho Falls' way of saying we believe in equity and we don't believe in discrimination."

The City of Pocatello is currently working on an anti-discrimination ordinance of it's own.

Last week, Ketchum City Council approved the first of three readings of it's anti-discrimination law.

Boise approved it's anti-discrimination ordinance last week. However, Driggs turned down a similar ordinance last month.

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