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Pocatello council rejects anti-discrimination ordinance

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 3:05 am | Updated: 12:10 pm, Fri Apr 19, 2013.

    POCATELLO — Mayor Brian Blad cast the deciding vote Thursday night to defeat a proposed new ordinance designed to protect the LGBT community from discrimination when it comes to housing, employment or public accommodations.

    An evenly divided Pocatello City Council voted 3-3 on a motion to approve the ordinance following another short public hearing on changes made since the ordinance was first proposed April 4. Voting for the ordinance were Eva Nye, Gary Moore and Roger Bray. Those opposed were Steve Brown, Craig Cooper and Jim Johnston.

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          The Idaho State Journal invites you to take part in the community conversation. But those who don't play nice may be uninvited. Don't post comments that are off topic, defamatory, libelous, obscene, racist, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. We may remove any comment for any reason or no reason. We encourage you to report abuse, but the decision to delete is ours. Commenters have no expectation of privacy and may be held accountable for their comments.

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          Welcome to the discussion.

          27 comments:

          • Mungagungadin posted at 12:27 pm on Sat, May 18, 2013.

            Mungagungadin Posts: 1

            A source confirms that The Church sent out representatives to get this vote against fairness.

             
          • HUMAN BEING posted at 3:35 am on Sat, Apr 20, 2013.

            HUMAN BEING Posts: 1

            I am speaking for any and all "Human Beings" yup that includes all of you. i am not sure but being HUMAN is what i believe to be a great thing.

            i am not sure what the folks of Pocatello are split on?! Why would one HUMAN discriminate against another HUMAN? i was raised to
            believe that we were all in this thing called LIFE together.
            Which to me means that we help when needed, we give when we can and we accept all for who they are. I personally think that some of the Pocatello residents may be infringing on some of the Constitutional Rights of others if they are saying that they have the right to discriminate against someone who lives his or her life in a way that he or she ( the discriminators) does not like or agree with. This is a very sad day in the HUMAN world.

            Come on Pocatello....get in the 21st century and accept all HUMANS as HUMANS:) Just saying!

             
          • Firefly posted at 9:13 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Firefly Posts: 44

            No one (including any of the City Council members) advocated for individuals to have the right to use their faith to blatantly discriminate against someone. No one is “for” these types of discrimination because they are wrong and have no justification! Individuals of faith aren’t blatantly refusing to hire or firing members of the LGBT community and they aren’t refusing housing or kicking members of the LGBT community out of housing. There has been no evidence that faith-based individuals are guilty of this. The concerns with religious liberties centered on a small segment of private business owners whose businesses overlap the “marriage industry” like photographers, bakeries, flower shops, etc. The argument was that no private business owner should be forced to go against his/her belief system in these types of circumstances. Some also had concerns that faith-based businesses might be targeted and falsely accused. Based on these posts and the threats being made in social media, these concerns seem to be justified. Tolerance is about putting up with differences not forcing others to condone or affirm one's own beliefs. Just because someone doesn't share your views doesn't mean they are guilty of discrimination or of hate. These posts reveal that tolerance for many who favor these laws is a one-way street.

             
          • Theseus posted at 6:55 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Theseus Posts: 89

            If passing an ordinance that creates equality in the community "splits the community apart" , then I ask, what does that really say about half of this community?

             
          • Theseus posted at 6:49 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Theseus Posts: 89

            Just because 4 uneducated individuals make a decision doesn't mean there's a good reason, that's the problem with putting your public trust in the hands of just a few fools. Pointing out the indoctrinated alternative agenda in the Mormon community isn't discrimination, it's freedom of expression... JUST LIKE THEY HAVE. Nobody is telling them they can't have as equal rights as the rest of humans, or that they can't practice what they want to practice, or that they shouldn't be paid the same for being Mormon, (as they do with all they don't agree with) therefor it's not discrimination, just prejudice against ignorance and the spreading thereof.

             
          • angieboo2you posted at 6:15 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            angieboo2you Posts: 1

            Isn't bashing him because of his religious beliefs what they call "discrimination"? If 3 others also had concerns, then obviously there was a reason- not just Mayor Blads judgement call.

             
          • ReverentToken posted at 3:36 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            ReverentToken Posts: 1

            Mayor Blad has a narcissistic attitude only further heightened by his covenants with the church. With no reason or rationale he is blatantly slapping equality in the face and mocking it with this pristine smile and shrug of the shoulders. There was no hard decision in the matter; it was a simple undertaking to prove that unity and cooperation are our only objectives and it turned out to be a display of vulgarity and single mindedness. We lack trust in our incompetent political figures because their alternative agendas are so very clear. Segregation can't last forever when there's people that just don't preach morals but actually practice them. The fear is taking hold; one by one their follies will crumble around them and this wall that they have tried so hard to build between humanity held together by lies and deceit will topple down, the course of nature will unfold leading us toward the harmony we so desperately desire and need.

             
          • JIMMY PALMIERI posted at 3:12 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            JIMMY PALMIERI Posts: 2

            WHAT A SAD LOT

             
          • JIMMY PALMIERI posted at 3:08 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            JIMMY PALMIERI Posts: 2

            WHAT A PATHETIC SACK OF FLESH. AS ARE THE THREE OTHER NAY VOTES. VOTE THEM OUT!

             
          • Theseus posted at 2:33 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Theseus Posts: 89

            It's because most of our political voices seek their ethical answers regarding the public good at large from 2 Nephi.

             
          • Theseus posted at 2:31 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Theseus Posts: 89

            All those people EXCEPT gays have those equal rights. You're argument is incorrect because gays suffer from job and marriage prejudices in ways that those other groups never will. In a town of 70% Mormon, you can truly understand why this turned out this way, and it has nothing to do with respecting the rights of others.

             
          • Theseus posted at 2:29 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Theseus Posts: 89

            Agreed, what steps should we take?

             
          • Theseus posted at 2:28 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Theseus Posts: 89

            All those things are not Mormon beliefs. It's not "be free and happy", it's "be like us or we'll force it down your throats".

             
          • Theseus posted at 2:26 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Theseus Posts: 89

            Mayor Blad and his kind are nothing but self-serving, Mormon zealots who make ordinances based on their own preferences. He and his colleagues continuously lie about their intentions until it comes time to decide on them, in which they flip flop and do the precise opposite of what they claimed. There wasn't even any good argument against giving others equal rights, and they still chose to ignore the public and listen to their prophet and religious leaders. If he isn't going to treat human beings LIKE human beings, and isn't going to be an honest representative of the commonwealth, than I don't see why he deserves to be treated like either. This man is our mayor? He's a disgusting, lying PR scheme in a tie. Mayor Blad in a nut shell: He tells people what he knows they want to hear so that he's not the bad guy, but when it comes to decision time his religious bigotry takes presidency. It's simple folks, the verdict is out... Blad and his religious companions don't support equality for people who don't agree with them; and they're your civil voices!?

             
          • IndigoJones posted at 12:00 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            IndigoJones Posts: 1

            NormalDude, you may be relieved to know that existing federal and state laws already protect people against discrimination because of a person's ethnicity (Hispanic for instance), disability (handicapped kids), and chosen religion (Mormons and non-Mormons alike). The proposed ordinance would have protected not only gay people but heterosexuals and bisexuals also (all sexual orientations). Federal and Idaho state law currently do not cover sexual orientation discrimination or discrimination based on class or income (poor). Thus, this ordinance would have offered you added protections from discrimination.

             
          • JulieS posted at 9:25 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            JulieS Posts: 1

            I love a quote by Rachel Maddow that fits this situation quite well: " Here's the thing about rights. They are not supposed to be voted on...that's why they call them RIGHTS."
            We grant legal protection to every other type of right under the sun, but not this one? What are you so afraid of?

             
          • jinx11 posted at 8:38 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            jinx11 Posts: 1

            The whole purpose of the Ordinance was to unite and heal a community that has deep issues of discrimination, hate and abuse toward the LGBT community and those who support them. The ordinance, to me, seems to promote unity to develop, where in the past these abuses were ignored, hidden, and denied, much like the vote portrayed last night. For Mayor Blad to say, “I believe this has divided the community in half,” shows not only is ignorance of this issue but his unwillingness to address the abuse or be accountable in the city of Pocatello, as the dividing force is the discrimination that exists. Blad had stated earlier in a different article, that he did not feel this issue was the responsibility of the city, but the Idaho State Legislature has done the same tactics of avoidance and postponement. Other states, such as New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado have protections established state-wide, but in Idaho this is not the case. I am aware that certain members of the community were invited to present input (Grace Lutheran pastor, Praise Temple of God pastor, Blazing Grace pastor, and the LDS) whereas, the more diverse religions were not invited. I became aware that they brought an attorney in that represents conservative paradigms such as the Heritage Foundation, which have no place in Pocatello City Council's decision making process. Watching this process play out in the city council chamber, I want to thank Kirk Bybee for his effort, as well as Nye, Bray and Moore for their courage and ability to vote for a positive change. As for Mayor Blad, Cooper, Brown and Johnston, I question their ability to take the needs of this community seriously. Thank You for allowing me to share.

             
          • rextrek posted at 8:33 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            rextrek Posts: 1

            dont worry Idaho - your backwards hillbillyness wont be attracting loads of people to our bigot state - I wrk with a woman who is from Idaho - she said she couldnt wait to get OUT of there.....heck, I know for a fact - I'll never be going to Idaho......

             
          • decker4 posted at 8:07 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            decker4 Posts: 5

            Here we are once again. At what point do the citizens of Pocatello take a stand and force the council to follow the rules. It looks to me from just these comments that more than 2/3 of the people here feel the same way. We can all vent, vent and vent some more but until we vote them out nothing changes. We must turn up the heat so they are forced to do the right thing!

             
          • wildbill posted at 7:56 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            wildbill Posts: 4

            Isn't it remarkable that Councilman Bray is able to separate his secular life from his Christian life. Like so many secularist, Bray wants his way. You can only serve one master.

             
          • Brcpatricia posted at 7:19 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Brcpatricia Posts: 33

            “Is it always to be a winners-losers world, or can we keep everyone in the game? Do we still have what it takes to find a better way?”
            ― Robert Fulghum, Maybe, Maybe Not


            Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself - that is my doctrine.”
            ― Thomas Paine, The Age Of Reason

             
          • Tanis V posted at 6:55 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Tanis V Posts: 3

            Don't forget meeting with The Heritage Foundation.

             
          • Tanis V posted at 6:53 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Tanis V Posts: 3

            Because those groups you speak of are already listed in the Idaho Civil Rights code protecting them from discrimination. The only group that isn't protected are the LGBT community. Many people attested to legal constraints when they were discriminated against, thrown out of their home, passed over for employment, etc. Instead of believing a segment of the community is asking for special rights, when they are not, why don't you talk to some of them about the difficulties and pitfalls of trying to be themselves in a community that believes they are NOT equal and deserving of the same rights as religion, women, and people of color? We are talking about individuals that are so willfully ignorant that they think the presence of a gay person will harm them or their children. I don't think you have a clue of what that is like.

             
          • Shelley posted at 6:00 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            Shelley Posts: 23

            The mayor says the nondiscrimination ordinance has divided the city in half. I respectfully disagree. His lack of leadership has divided this city. To allow special interests in at the last minute to plead their case over the citizens of this community was disgraceful. The citizens deserve the answers to a series of questions. Why did he allow a representative from the American Religious Freedom Program to meet with city council members the day of the April 4 hearing--if he wanted input that should have happened weeks if not months prior to that date. Who were these people? Who invited them in? Why were they given so much time with the city council members? Were open meeting laws violated? Why were only some members of clergy invited and others not? What were the costs to the city on this? Why was he so willing to take the advice of a Washington, DC attorney over our own legal staff? I am deeply disappointed in him as mayor.

            So in the end, the out-of-state interests cast enough doubt on the fine work of our legal staff whose salary we pay that you all vote no. I am embarrassed to live in Pocatello, Idaho.

             
          • normaldude posted at 5:29 am on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

            normaldude Posts: 97

            I am glad it failed. If gays get an anti discrimination law, so should non mormans, or hispanics, or poor people, or handicapped kids that get teased in school, etc., etc. Gay people do not need their own laws, they need to use the same laws as everyone else. Who cares if they are gay, black, short, tall, hispanic, morman, or whatever. We do not need to spend all the this time and money on one type of person. An anti discrimination law should be for all not just for gays.

             
          • AllanJ posted at 9:53 pm on Thu, Apr 18, 2013.

            AllanJ Posts: 1

            So Pocatello struggles yet again to stay at least 20 years behind the times. Good luck with your economic development.

             
          • gasman posted at 9:27 pm on Thu, Apr 18, 2013.

            gasman Posts: 64

            Thank-You city leaders for keeping us in the 1950's.

             

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