Billings Nondiscrimination Ordinance (NDO) Voted NO by Billings City Council [VIDEO]
It was another long city council business meeting in at the City Council Chambers in downtown Billings on August 11th. The Billings Morning News has been following the debate all Summer.Along with the normal agenda items the main item was the Nondiscrimination Ordinance,(NDO). The NDO would have amended Billings city code to protect people from discrimination based on gender identity.
The NDO would have to wait until about 9 p.m. for review and the “read through”. Public comment was heavy as you can well imagine with each citizen being allowed 3 minutes to speak their piece.
After the final voice of concern, about 2 a.m., the city council voted and that vote ended in a 5-5 tie. In steps Mayor Hanel to break the tie. In a talk with me on The Billings Morning News, Mayor Hanel said,
I was completely prepared to break the tie.
Mayor Tom Hanel voted NO at about 3 a.m. on August 12th to make the city’s vote 6-5 against the NDO. The Mayor went on to say,
I don’t believe Billings is ready for a nondiscrimination ordinance. I needed to ask myself, is this fair to everyone, beneficial to everyone? Will it build goodwill and friendships? I can’t say for sure.