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Pocatello considers LGBT protection law

Pocatello’s city council is looking at a possible new law that would mean a lot more legal protection for people in the gay and transgender community.

A city committee is drafting a law that would make it illegal to discriminate in employment or housing based on someones sexual orientation or gender identity.

Julie Zicha’s shared her story with members of the city council to persuade them to support the effort.

She said hatred and discrimination against people who are different drove her son Ryan to commit suicide last year, and hopes an anti-discrimination law will help other families.

“I think it’s definitely a good start. And I would imagine that it would make at least some impact,” Zicha said.

Supporters of an LGBT protection bill, will have convince city councilmembers like Craig Cooper.

He said he doesn’t believe anyone should be discriminated against, but isn’t sure passing a city law is the right way to fix the problem.

A lawyer tasked by the city with examining the issue, said there’s doubts about what the city can do without opening itself up to legal trouble.

“I think we’re limited in what we can do. And if we listen to our attorney, certainly there’s a lot of hurdles to cross before we can get something in effect,” Cooper said.

The city is asking to get a legal opinion from the attorney general, and likely won’t be voting on any anti-discrimination ordinance, for at least the next month.

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