LGBT discrimination and protections in the Northwest

Oregon. In Oregon, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are protected from discrimination in housing and employment, although discrimination still persists.

Boise/Moscow. The Boise City Council recently heard testimony from a packed audience of 300 on a city ordinance that would prohibit discrimination of LGBT individuals in housing or employment. The Council subsequently voted to ban discrimination, and the Moscow City Council and Human Rights Commission may be set to follow suit.

Washington State. The State of Washington recently legalized same-sex marriage through the ballot box, and former governor Chris Gregoire signed ESHB 2661 into law on January 31, 2006.

ESHB 2661 adds sexual orientation as a protected class in Washington State.

Sexual orientation nondiscrimination became effective and part of the Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60) on June 8, 2006.

The new law (RCW 49.60.040) says sexual orientation “means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. As used in this definition, gender expression or identity means having or being perceived to have a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.”

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