This past week, the Ada County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance covering sexuality and gender identity.

This is, in essence, the concept that the campaign "Add the Words" has been pushing the legislature to incorporate state-wide, but in this instance, the ordinance is specifically applying to areas of unincorporated Ada County outside of city limits.

Our news partner, KTVB Newschannel 7 noted that Add The Words Idaho said that over 12 Idaho cities and one additional county have passed similar ordinances.  These include Boise and Meridian.

Ada County commissioners met Wednesday and listened to testimony from around 25 people advocating for the passage of the nondiscrimination ordinance for the county.  This included members and allies of the LGBTQ community in the Gem State.

The ordinance has a stated goal of ensuring "all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression enjoy the full benefits of citizenship and are afforded equal opportunities for employment, housing, commercial property, and the use of public accommodations."

The ordinance will now outlaw specific actions that would be based on someone's sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.  Those include:

  • Refusing to hire a qualified applicant
  • Firing and otherwise qualified employee
  • Paying different rates for similar work
  • Stopping someone from working
  • Denying a lease, sale, or rental of housing
  • Discriminating in terms and conditions of leases, sales, rentals, maintenance, or repair

Exceptions to the rule include religious corporations, associations, and educational institutions.