Idaho Falls Passes Partial LGBT Protections

Sep 13, 2013

Idaho Falls is now the seventh Idaho town to pass a law that provides some protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. The Idaho Falls City Council Thursday night passed a law barring discrimination in housing and employment. The vote came after hours of public testimony from people for  -- and against -- the ordinance.

Idaho Falls with the Mormon Temple in the background.
Credit Sushkins / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Falls is the most recent in a string of Idaho cities that have passed non-discrimination ordinances in the face of state inaction. The mayor cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the ordinance.

According to the Post Register, more than 45 people testified at the meeting. In total, more than 100 people attended the meeting, and the council chambers were at capacity. Many people overflowed into a room outside the chambers, and stood in line outside the city building before the meeting started. The final vote came around midnight.

"This is a significant ordinance, one of the most significant ordinances to come before us in this community,"Fuhriman said. "(It has been) important that we take our time and do it right. We want to make sure this is something we, today, can be proud of as we move forward." - Post Register

But the law differs from the six others passed in towns like Sandpoint, Boise and Pocatello; there is no clause protecting LGBT residents from discrimination in public accommodations. Idaho Falls -- which is known for it's large Mormon population -- is the first city in Idaho to pass a law like this without this clause.