Dillon, Mont., rejects motion to consider non-discrimination ordinance

DILLON, Mont. — The city council in Dillon, Mont., on Wednesday voted not to move forward on a proposed ordinance to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The council voted 6-2 against a motion to consider the ordinance, but instead asked the the city attorney to draft a resolution making it known that the city of Dillon does not support discrimination.

The ordinance would have prohibited discrimination against gays in housing and in the workplace; the resolution, as requested, be non-binding and unenforceable.

City council president David Spehar, who voted to consider the non-discrimination ordinance, told the Montana Standard that a resolution is not good enough.

“I’ve been here in Dillon 99.99 percent of my life and I have seen instances of discrimination,” he said. “To think discrimination doesn’t happen in Dillon, they might as well stick their heads in the sand because it does.”

Last week, five residents in Bozeman filed a lawsuit alleging the mayor and city commissioners did not have the legal authority to enact a similar ordinance there.

In addition to Bozeman, only three other Montana cities — Missoula, Helena and Butte — have LGBT non-discrimination ordinances.

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