- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Butte-Silver Bow commissioners have passed an ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity with regard to housing, employment and the use of public accommodations.

The council of commissioners voted 10-2 on Wednesday in favor of the ordinance, which takes effect in 30 days.

Missoula and Helena have similar legal protections for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people.

Commissioners Dennis Henderson and Johnson Sorich voted against the measure, saying they wanted a provision included that says in restrooms or places like athletic club locker rooms people should use facilities designated for their anatomical sex.

Those who feel they are discriminated against can file a civil petition in Justice Court. Anyone who violates the ordinance four or more times in a 12-month time period could be fined up to $500 for each violation.

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