Officials in the north-central Idaho city of Lewiston have passed an ordinance banning discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Lewiston City Council passed the ordinance Monday on a 5-2 vote, making Lewiston the ninth city in Idaho to pass an ordinance protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination, the Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1rxgn1f).

The meeting drew a standing-room-only crowd to the Lewis-Clark State College Library, where a comment period lasted about an hour and a half. Comments ran about 2-1 in favor of the ordinance.

Councilor Ged Randall helped write the ordinance with Councilors Bob Blakey and Jesse Maldonado. Randall said he heard no opposition from large businesses or groups such as the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce, or religious leaders.

"We haven't had a cardinal walk in the door and say the Catholic Church is dead-set against it," he said.

Councilor Clinton Daniel voted against the ordinance.

"What businesses in the city of Lewiston are actually discriminating?" he asked. "There's no barriers left for the LGBT community."

Mayor Pro Tem Ryan Johnson also voted against the ordinance.

The council, before passing the ordinance, adopted amendments broadening exemptions for religious entities.

Daniel proposed an amendment to broaden the religious exemptions to include business owners who have "strongly held religious beliefs" against homosexuality, but the council rejected that amendment.


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