Four Montana cities now have an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Bozeman city commissioners have now passed such a measure, although representatives of churches and religious schools who objected were eventually exempted from it.
The ordinance passed unanimously and without discussion.
Mayor Jeff Krauss says Bozeman was the fourth city to pass such a measure, but was ahead of the curve four years ago when local officials asked then-Attorney General, Steve Bullock, to not defend Montana's constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.
Krauss says Bozeman residents had a generally civilized and thorough discussion about the city's new non-discrimination ordinance passed this week, although he notes it's such a personal issue that it was bound to occasionally get heated. He says he had to remind people on both sides of the issue to tone-down their rhetoric aimed at their opponents. In his words:
"One of my concerns was not to replace an old bigotry with a new bigotry."
Governor Steve Bullock has issued a statement praising the Bozeman Commission's vote and urged other communities to follow suit. The law takes effect in 30 days.