MERIDIAN, IDAHO – Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH) applauds the Meridian City Council for passing a non-discrimination ordinance in a vote of 4-2. This citywide ordinance will enact greater protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by strengthening existing civil rights anti-discrimination laws in categories like employment, housing, and use of public accommodations.
Public testimony lasted for more than three hours, and advocates in Meridian shared their stories about how this ordinance will make a difference in their lives. Residents asked their councilmembers to celebrate and honor LGBTQ community members and consider the impacts this ordinance will have in making people feel comfortable in their places of employment.
Statement from Mistie Tolman, Idaho State Director for PPVNH:
“This citywide ordinance will put into law what the majority of Americans believe — that no one in this city should face discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The City of Meridian is making a clear statement when it comes to protections for individuals from discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. We applaud the efforts of the Meridian City Council and believe we can work together in advancing these protections across our state.
“The current lack of existing federal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people across the country leave individuals vulnerable to discrimination in employment and housing, among other areas of their lives. In places across the state, hardworking LGBTQ people face the constant reality that they could be fired from their job for their sexual orientation and be denied access to housing and public accommodations. Fortunately, that is no longer true for those living and working in Meridian. This ordinance helps to fill in long-standing gaps in civil rights protections, but there is more work to be done.”