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Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Small Town in Idaho Debates LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill

Posted by on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

The front page of the Idaho State Journal (sent in by Slog tipper J).
  • The front page of the Idaho State Journal (sent in by Slog tipper J).
Pocatello, Idaho, a small town in southeastern Idaho, is looking to pass an LGBT nondiscrimination bill at a city council meeting tonight—a bill set to "protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community when it comes to housing, employment or public accommodations," according to the Idaho State Journal.

The reader poll next to that article online, asking if the nondiscrimination ordinance should be passed, is currently at 53 percent "no." Meanwhile, yesterday, the paper reported on a "threat" to a city council member over the vote:

Councilman Jim Johnston said he received a call on his cellphone Saturday from local businessman Kevin Lish. Johnston says that Lish told him he would take his business to Idaho Falls if Johnston didn’t vote in favor of the nondiscrimination ordinance. The Pocatello City Council is set to discuss the ordinance on Thursday.

Johnston said he felt the call was a threat, and it frustrated him. He said it’s not fair to do something to hurt Pocatello’s economy over decisions made by city officials.

Here's hoping it passes.


Comments (19) RSS

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MacCrocodile 1
That poll has already flipped to 57% yes.

How awful for Councilman Johnston to live with that fear. He should get a security detail to make sure nothing bad happens to Pocatello's economy.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Pocatello has 58,000 residents. It is more accurately described as a small city.
Posted by Yours for precision on April 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 3
All together now: "I was born in a the Princess Theater..."
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on April 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 4
@3 - I went to Pocatello once (I even performed on stage there), but I could not find the Princess Theater. I was very disappointed.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 5
I am disappointed now, too, @4. I hope you gave it your all regardless!
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on April 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 6
@5 - Yeah, it was some new theater affiliated with the University of Idaho or something. I guess it was okay.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
@6: the University of Idaho is in Moscow. Idaho State University is in Pocatello.

And yeah, Pocatello is not really a small town. That term is best used for actual small towns, like 5000 people or fewer. Of which there are many in Idaho.
Posted by Red state girl, blue state woman on April 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Poll has flipped to 67% in favor of non-discrimination.

Pocatello is a college-town, which tend to be more liberal, than not.
Posted by judybrowni on April 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 9
@7 - Whoops. No offense intended to the fine people of Idaho. It's been years since I was there, and I couldn't be bothered to look it up. I like to cover my bases with "or something", you might have noticed.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 18, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Report this
treacle 11
So victimized, these City decision makers! VICTIMIZED, I TELL YOU!
Posted by treacle on April 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Gern Blanston 12
I predict at least one anti-ordinance speaker at the hearing will exclaim "It's Pocatello, not Pokeafellow!"
Posted by Gern Blanston on April 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 13
The business community doesn't want to be hampered by a hostile work place. I don't blame them. Bring some diversity to Pocatello. It's a strength, not a weakness. Cities all over the country have passed these laws with great success.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on April 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Now 77.8% in favor.

Posted by IslandGuy on April 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
@12: Now that's comedy gold.
Posted by MLM on April 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Ziggity 16
@12: haha

'God made Pocatello, not Pocatello and Steve.'
Posted by Ziggity on April 18, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
Big Sven 17
Umm... business people threaten electeds ALL THE TIME with "if you do xyz, businesses will leave..." This councilman has a peculiar sensitivity to the LGBT police.
Posted by Big Sven on April 18, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
To commenters taking issue with "small town": I'm sorry. I've been to Pocatello, too, and it felt like a small town to me. No disrespect intended! Seriously.
Posted by Anna Minard on April 18, 2013 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Right, population is 50,000, metro area 90,000; it's the county seat and home to Idaho State University. Likeable town, actually.
Posted by menace2society on April 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM · Report this

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