BOZEMAN, Mont. - Bozeman's nondiscrimination ordinance prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodation.
Bozeman is now the fourth Montana city with such a law on its books, after the Bozeman City Commission voted unanimously for it.
For some, it is about much more than just a vote. Tom Marsh has spent most of his life in the Bozeman area.
He says, "This NDO has given me a greater sense of acceptance and belonging from my community."
Marsh shared his story with us. From growing up -- "Being gay was, it was a problem, you know? I was singled out because of it." -- To starting his career.
It is not only his story, but one he tells for his friends as well.
"They were scared of how their coworkers would view that. They were scared of what that might mean for their job," said Marsh.
Marsh became involved in the LGBT community. In 2011 he participated in Pride parades and later rallies. Then came talk of the Bozeman nondiscrimination ordinance.
"Unlike friends of mine who have ended their life," revelead Marsh, "I survived a process that was imposed on me."
Marsh says that the ordinance, as well as the open dialogues surrounding it have helped break down stereotypes and reassure members of the LGBT community.
And he knows it sends a statement, "To the young people, and the old people, that live here, that 'You're welcome'. Not only just to be here but, you know, 'We'll treat you like everyone else.'"
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