A packed house stood and cheered the Boise City Council Tuesday evening for doing something that the Idaho Legislature refused to do, in the very same building.
Meeting at the Idaho State Capitol, the Boise Council voted unanimously to extend nondiscrimination protections to gender identity and sexual orientation. The measure, crafted by Council President Maryanne Jordan and Council Member Lauren McLean saw its third—and final—reading Tuesday night before the vote. The first reading, on Nov. 13, included nearly five hours of emotional testimony, mostly from proponents.
"Many of us here tonight have spent countless hours and much energy on helping to shape our city's future," said McLean Tuesday night before voting "aye." "My focus—and interest—in being a part of this council is to take steps to build Boise into an even safer, healthier and more livable community for all."
After the vote, McLean said it was "difficult to find the words to describe the honor I felt tonight."
"In front of a filled committee room, facing hundreds of people whose very lives will be impacted by our simple yet important step, we unanimously voted for equality in Boise," wrote McLean.
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.