I tried to find the actual Non-Discrimination Ordinance to read it, but didn't see it on the City of Billings website. My question is this: Why do we have to have a law stating that we won't discriminate against people of different sexual persuasions? Are we also going to draft one so that white overweight women over 65 who happen to be left-handed won't be discriminated against? I fit the above category, and I want to be treated just like everyone else is treated. (And trust me, left-handed people face special challenges every day).
The law won't make a difference in how people treat other people. That comes from within, and most of us, I would guess, don't want folks to be shunned or ostracized for being different from ourselves, ordinance or no ordinance.
Discretion is the key, here. In the old days, if two people of the same sex lived together, nobody thought much about it. Maybe they were homosexuals or maybe they were friends and roommates. They lived their lives and we lived ours. They didn't have to be in the closet — they just didn't announce their sexual persuasion to the world. I only wish heterosexuals would practice discretion as well. I don't want to know about their sex lives, either. That stuff should be private.
If we concentrated on the humanity of our fellow beings, rather than the categories they are in — examined their smiles, their eyes, their personalities — and treated them with respect and consideration, non-discrimination ordinances wouldn't even need to be considered.