POCATELLO — Even the applause seemed tired as a weary Pocatello City Council voted 4-2 to pass an ordinance to protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from discrimination when it comes to housing, employment and public accommodations.
Voting for the ordinance that contains only three modifications compared to one that failed in April were Roger Bray, Gary Moore, Steve Brown and Eva Nye. Those opposed were councilmen Craig Cooper and Jim Johnston.
Language added to the ordinance that would have called for gender identification based on state driver's licenses or official IDs in restrooms and locker rooms and an exemption for all employers with five or fewer employes were pulled before the bill passed. An addition to the April ordinance language was made early Friday morning as the Thursday council meeting went past midnight.
Councilman Brown moved to have the city pay the first $250 for the cost of any mediation between a complaining party and person accused under the new city ordinance. The defendant would pick up the next $250 in cost and then additional costs would be split between the complainant and defendant.
An earlier attempt to pass a version of the ordinance that stripped a section regarding an possible exemption for people who discriminate based on religious beliefs failed on a 3-3 vote with Blad breaking the tie.
Johnston made several attempts to table a decision on the ordinance, but was unsuccessful. His attempts resulted in consultation with city attorneys Dean Tranmer and Kirk Bybee about rules of order when it comes to motions.
The Journal will have a complete story on the council meeting later today.