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Meridian City Council to consider non discrimination ordinance

Meridian City Council to consider new ordinance
Posted: 5:21 PM, Sep 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-25 11:47:32-04

The City of Meridian crafted a new ordinance that attempts to provide equal rights to all its citizens regardless of a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

The public will have a chance to weigh in as the city council considers this new non-discrimination ordinance at the city council meeting on Tuesday at 6:00.

"We have heard a significant amount of feedback from the citizens of Meridian and around the valley in support of it, but we have heard some very compelling arguments from the people who are opposed," said Luke Cavener the Vice President of the city council.

The ordinance would give members of the LGBTQ community equal rights when it comes to employment, housing and public accommodations, but also the right to file charges if those rights are violated while also being protected against unlawful retaliation.

"I'm so excited as someone who resides in Caldwell, I'm excited to know that there is another neighboring city close to me that is looking at this ordinance," said Chelsea Gaonalincoln of Add the Words Idaho. "The city I live in doesn't have one so Boise is a have for my spouse and me."

Add the Words Idaho has been working for the past 13 years to fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ community on the state level, Gaonalincoln told us 13 cities in the state have passed ordinances like the one Meridian is considering but it is spread out throughout Idaho.

"In this case, Meridian's leadership has taken it upon themselves and that is not something we see very often," said Gaonalincoln.

Cavener told us the people who oppose this ordinance have done so mainly because of business issues and also because of religion, the ordinance did address religion in writing saying that it provides a boundary so that religious liberties do not get violated.

People will have the chance to voice their opinion at the city council meeting if they can not make it in person residents can send an email to cityclerk@meridiancity.org.