One Equal World

Moscow, Idaho Looks to Support LGBT Equality

Posted on: January 7, 2013

Just weeks after Idaho’s capital city, Boise, passed anti-discrimination measures to protect its LGBT citizens, another city is looking to follow in its footsteps. Moscow, Idaho, which is on the northwestern border of Idaho and Washington, is home to about 24,000 people and the University of Idaho.

In February, a bill that would have amended Idaho’s Human Rights Act to include the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” was shot down by Republican state senators on the Senate State Affairs Committee. Now, individual cities are stepping up to enact protections for citizens.

Currently, there are no protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation, said Ken Nagy of the housing commission. Citizens are protected based on race, creed, gender, age, and religion only. Moscow’s proposed measure would prohibit discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Working together, Moscow’s Human Rights Commission and the Fair and Affordable Housing Commission hope to make a joint recommendation to the city council. Boise’s recently approved LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance was approved unanimously, a stark contrast to the state’s overwhelmingly conservative voting trends.

Moscow is located in Latah County, which is one of the most competitive counties politically in Idaho. With a tendency to vote for Republican candidates at a lower rate than the rest of the state, Latah County residents voted for Barack Obama over the Republican ticket in both 2008 and 2012. It was also just one of two counties to reject the 2006 ban of same-sex marriage. With its strong track record of voting for LGBT equality and against discrimination, it’s likely that Moscow will soon become the next city to defy the state’s conservative majority.


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