A proposed new ordinance designed to protect the LGBT community in Pocatello, Idaho from discrimination in housing, accommodations, and employment, was rejected on April 18.
According to the Idaho State Journal, the Pocatello City Council was deadlocked on a motion to approve the ordinance with a vote of 3-3 with Mayor Brian Blad casting the deciding vote to defeat the legislation.
The outcome of Pocatello’s vote stands in contrast to Idaho towns Boise, Moscow, and Sandpoint, which have all passed similar legislation. But even more disturbing is the suspected influence of the antigay organization Heritage Foundation, which was able to secure time in a City Council work session prior to the public hearing on the proposed LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance.
In the past, the Heritage Foundation has not only championed the Defense of Marriage Act, but also pulled out of the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011 because the gay Republican group GOProud would be in attendance.
Nevertheless, while his ‘no’ vote defeated the proposed legislation, Blad left room for the possibility of a modified anti-discrimination ordinance in the near future. He's ordered a work session for May 9 with deputy city attorney Kirk Bybee and the council with plans to introduce a new proposal at the June 6 council meeting. “I believe we can draft an ordinance that most people can accept,”Blad said.“My main goal is to bring the community together and it's split right now.”