Friday, April 30, 2010

Nash pushing to overturn ordinance, again

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 10:45 AM

In an effort to overturn Missoula’s recently approved anti-discrimination ordinance, Not My Bathroom (NMB) chairman Tei Nash submitted a second petition yesterday, constituting one of several steps NMB must take before putting the law up for a citywide vote.

“I just accepted the petition,” says Debbe Merseal from the Missoula County election’s office. “It has already been resubmitted to (Missoula City Attorney) Jim Nugent.”

Nash initially submitted a petition aiming to put the issue before voters days after City Council approved the ordinance, which will, if all goes as planned, provide legal recourse to individuals discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender identification. But Nugent refused to sign off on the paperwork, citing a variety of legal problems with the application, including the fact that Nash is not a city resident.

“He’s not an elector, so he doesn’t get to initiate this,” Nugent told the Indy earlier this month.

When returning to the election’s office yesterday, Nash again listed his Miller Creek address, which, according to city officials is not within city limits. “He was very clear he was the one submitting the petition,” Merseal says.

It remains to be seen if the city will approve Nash’s motion to initiate a referendum. If Nugent does give the thumbs up, NMB must gather 6,395 signatures within 60 days of the ordinance's passage to freeze it and qualify the issue for next year’s ballot. If NMB succeeds, the vote would likely happen Sept. 13, 2011 during the Missoula municipal primary election.

City officials have 21 days to review the application.

“So, we’ll move from there,” Merseal says.

View the newest petition here: petition.pdf

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