The Boise City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a gay protections law.

The law, which takes effect on January 1, makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing and at local businesses. The law includes exceptions for religious institutions and some private organizations, CBS affiliate WBOI reported.

Supporters cheered passage with a standing ovation.

While speaking on the legislation, Councilwoman Maryanne Jordan, a strong supporter of the measure, became emotional.

“If this ordinance can serve to have children in our community to feel valued in our community in a way they may not have before,” she said. “To go away to school and to come home to a place that they love and know that they can thrive here as adults then I think we have done our civic responsibility.”

City officials heard hours of testimony on the proposed law from opponents and supporters during a November 13 public meeting.

“Having been almost raised by my brother who is gay, and I was able to witness first hand those types of discrimination that do occur,” Councilman TJ Thompson explained.

Boise is Idaho's largest city. (A video report is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)