City Commission Voting On NDO Monday

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BOZEMAN - Bozeman city commissioners will vote on a proposed non-discrimination ordinance during Monday’s meeting.

The draft of the ordinance was revised after a policy discussion last week.

Some people told ABC Fox Montana that they don't think there should be one at all.

“It is not an issue about love and equality, but giving special treatment to a small group of people, thus creating the more harm than good,” said Kyndall Miller, who opposes a NDO in Bozeman.

Others, including city commissioners, said they feel there is enough discrimination against the gay, lesbian and transgender community that there needs to be a law on the books.

The commission will vote on an amended version of the ordinance that was presented to the public last week.

One of the changes from the first draft, which was written by Deputy Mayor Carson Taylor, exempts organized religions and religious schools from the ordinance in hiring as long as they are nonprofits and are not providing public accommodations and services.

It is a move Mike Long and his partner have agreed with.

“I like the fact the religious exemption is only if they are nonprofit and only if they are not providing some public accommodation because if you are licensed business, you must accommodate everybody,” said Long.

But Miller would like to see more included in that exception.

 “It does not address the issues for hiring practices for faith based organizations who their main mission is to provide services to the public such as Love, Inc. or the Salvation Army,” said Miller.  “This would contradict their religious beliefs.”

Long said if the ordinance passes, it would be a step in the right direction for the LGBT community.

“This is another stepping stone on the road to the fairness for all fair is fair,” said Long.

If the commission passes the ordinance on Monday night, it will have a second reading and then a vote would come no sooner than in two weeks.

Monday night's commission meeting starts at 5 p.m. in City Hall, an hour earlier than normal.

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