After reading a letter in the Gazette's Voice of the Reader concerning the nondiscrimination ordinance, I feel compelled to respond.
In the writer's expression of her disappointment in the failure of the ordinance passing, she stated, "My city, the one that founded the movement ‘Not in Our Town,' would never have voted for hatred and discrimination.”
Among the populace of our town, or any town, are many different beliefs. It seems that in any situation where there is disagreement in beliefs of those being protected by an ordinance and those who believe differently, the belief of one party is always to be honored, while the belief of the other is not only ignored, but a fine or punishment is incurred if he/she does not honor the other. An ordinance cannot prevent discrimination. It can only determine which belief system can be discriminated against.
Billings has a right to be proud of "Not in Our Town." That movement was good, caring people supporting the rights of others. It was a movement that shows that we can respect others and co-exist peacefully.
I don't believe an ordinance will help to bring agreement or peaceful disagreement. I do believe we need the “Not In Our Town" attitude where all individuals respect the rights of others to live as they choose.