Discrimination | Idaho | Law - Gay, LGBT

Idaho Won't Add The Words

MalepeaiOn a Friday in February three years ago, disappointed LGBT people and their allies departed the Idaho Senate, some tearfully, after the Senate State Affairs Committee rejected legislation adding LGBTs to the Idaho Human Rights Act, which would have protected LGBTs from housing and employment discrimination. A similar scene played out yesterday. From MagicValley.com:

BOISE • Shock, anger and sadness reverberated through the Idaho Senate auditorium Friday morning after a party-line vote by the Senate State Affairs Committee killed legislation to add protections for gay, lesbian and transgendered individuals under the Idaho Human Rights Act.

Legislative committees don't hear testimony at print hearings, but that didn't stop 300 people from watching as the proposal fell, with only the committee’s two Democrats voting to print the bill. Many attendees wore buttons or shirts stating their support for the legislation, referred to as "Add The Words."

... Bill sponsor Sen. Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello, introduced the legislation to the committee. He fought back tears [as he] asked its members to print the bill and allow testimony from supporters.

"In my opinion, it would be profoundly disrespectful not to afford," Malepeai said, pausing to compose himself. "Not to afford those tens of thousands of families affected by this legislation with at least a printing of the bill."

None of the committee members spoke against the bill, though Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, thanked Malepeai for his work.

"I appreciate your passion for this. I appreciate your sensitivity," Winder said. "I appreciate the way you treated me when we visited. I thank you and have a great deal of respect for you."

Respect or no, Winder didn't want that bill printed. Though he and his fellow Republicans declined to speak publically against the bill, they all voted against its printing. From MagicValley.com:
After the vote, the audience gasped. One man shouted "Have you no shame?" as Committee Chairman Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, adjourned the committee.
As Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, left the auditorium, Bliss resident Marley Luna tearfully approached him, asking for an explanation of his vote. He silently walked past her.
Last time the bill was rejected, it at least made it to print. For more info on the efforts to amend Idaho law, visit addthewords.org.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. They hate us. They are bigots. What did you expect. Incidentally, I despise them. Hate is too mild.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Feb 11, 2012 12:07:31 PM

  2. Who is in the photo? So many people in the story and yet no identifier.

    Posted by: MikeW | Feb 11, 2012 12:09:50 PM

  3. MikeW: Sorry, but the software will not allow captions. If you roll your cursor over the pic, the last name of the pictured gentleman should come up. (Malepeai.)

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Feb 11, 2012 12:16:42 PM

  4. @ Brandon K. Thorp: Just put a "[pictured right]" after Malepeai's name in the article (like they would do in print.)

    Posted by: unruly | Feb 11, 2012 1:10:05 PM

  5. Stories like this one and the one in Anchorage make me really realize and truly highlight just how stark the differences are in views towards LGBTQ citizens from state to state (and city to city, community to community, so on and so forth).

    In California, New Jersey, and Maryland, you have marriage equality being debated; Prop 8 being declared unconstitutional; a plurality of citizens in all of these states that support it, and at least somewhat realistic chances all of these states will see marriage equality happen in the near future. Washington State has just enacted marriage equality to become the 7th state in the nation to allow same-sex couples our just right to marry out legal partners.

    Yet in states like Idaho, we're literally seen as lesser humans not deserving of basic fundamental rights like being able to walk into work without fear of losing your job because of your sexuality.

    It's really a shame, and heartbreaking.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 11, 2012 1:37:33 PM

  6. This is why I detest gay republicans who persistently vote for and support the party of hate. Absolutely shameful and disgusting.

    To all of the Obama bashers out there in the democratic party, and I know he hasn't given us everything we want, no president can, if you sit home to punish him then you are helping a republican get elected. Don't cry about it after it happens, because what happened in Idaho will happen in every red state.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Feb 11, 2012 1:53:27 PM

  7. The orange juice boycott was very effective against Anita Bryant. How about a potato boycott? It's easy, eat rice or anything else instead. I will.

    Posted by: S.C. | Feb 11, 2012 2:16:37 PM

  8. Typical.

    Party line vote. Any guess which party was on which side? Anyone?

    And they refuse to justify their bigotry. "Have you no shame?" is exactly the right response. At long last, have you no sense of decency?

    Posted by: KevinVT | Feb 11, 2012 3:53:58 PM

  9. It's typical bull Sh-t from the republican party.
    Yet they have NO idea why we're mad at them. Gay republicans won't say a word, I'm sure their was a tax cut somewhere

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Feb 11, 2012 5:55:08 PM

  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    Posted by: MoJo | Feb 12, 2012 1:38:56 AM

  11. If "E V E R Y" Gay person (or, hopefully, every Family with a Gay member) stopped buying Idaho Potatoes for one year, they might get the message.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Feb 12, 2012 2:14:10 PM

Post a comment


« «Bruce Springsteen's 'We Take Care Of Our Own': VIDEO« «