The Ketchum City Council voted three to zero to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity/expression” Tuesday. Council President Baird Gourlay was absent.
Federal and Idaho laws prohibit discrimination in the areas of employment, public accommodation and housing on the bases of race, color, age, sex, national origin and/or disability, but not on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. According to a Dec. 5 City Council meeting packet, more than 125 cities and counties and 21 states have adopted that additional legislation. The packet states Ketchum’s ordinance is meant to “bolster” federal and state law, not “supplant it.”
Boise passed a similar law in December. However, City Attorney Paul Fitzer said at a City Council meeting Tuesday that Boise’s ordinance focuses more on “prosecution” of violators whereas Ketchum’s is tailored more toward “education” and “mediation.” He said that made sense given the size of each city.
However, those who break Ketchum’s new law could be charged by the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with a misdemeanor.