I’m hitting the road for a work week in southeastern Idaho, where my primary hope is to see a victory on May 20th for the LGBTQ community in Pocatello.
Pride Foundation is part of a coalition of organizations and individuals helping get out the vote, raise funds, and gather volunteers for Fair Pocatello, the campaign dedicated to defeating Proposition One—the ballot measure designed to repeal Pocatello’s ordinance protecting LGBTQ residents from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. A “no” vote is a vote to keep the ordinance in effect.
Pocatello is one of seven Idaho cities that have adopted ordinances in the last two years prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This follows after several years of inaction by the Idaho Legislature to include those protections as part of the Idaho Human Rights Act. The other cities that adopted non-discrimination ordinances include Boise, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, Ketchum, Moscow and Idaho Falls.
A simple majority is all that is required to overturn Pocatello’s non-discrimination ordinance. And if it is repealed, there is concern that opponents might then try to overturn Idaho’s other non-discrimination ordinances and/or turn their attention to the over 190 similar county and municipal ordinances across the country.
The fight for equality is never easy, but I have to say that I am humbled and proud to work here in Idaho alongside organizations such as ACLU of Idaho and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, and the many community activists championing the ordinance on the ground in Pocatello.
We intend to win in Pocatello on May 20th. Regardless of the outcome, though, the work for LGBTQ equality continues, and we at Pride Foundation will never stop until everyone enjoys the freedom to live their lives safely, openly, and genuinely.
Steve Martin is Pride Foundation’s regional development organizer in Idaho. Email Steve.