Gay Former State Senator Hides in Idaho Senate Closet for Hours in Equal Rights Protest

LeFavour at an earlier demonstration.

For weeks we've been reporting on the arrests of activists at the Idaho state house demanding that lawmakers add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's Human Rights Act.

Yesterday, gay former state Senator Nicole LeFavour was discovered in a Senate coat closet where she had been "for between five and six hours," the Spokesman Review reports:

“It’s a very large closet,” she said. “There are lots of people in closets out there, and they’re not comfortable.”

Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said the Senate was at ease when LeFavour was discovered late Tuesday afternoon by staffers looking for some items in the closet.

“I have no idea how long she was there,” Davis said.

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, asked LeFavour to leave.

“It seemed to me that there was some initial reluctance, but there was compliance,” Davis said.

Said LeFavour to the Spokesman Review: "Closets are never safe for gay or transgender people."

LeFavour wrote on Facebook earlier today:

What do you say or do when you've tried everything? What do you say when compassion and reason seem to have failed, when nothing will make the powerful stop and hear the stories an entire state has to tell? Pat Trumam sang and we cried last night, with the thought of the loss we could not stop, the fear we can't make them see, the beautiful lives they will not stand for. But we stand with love for all out there who wait in silence. We are not just gay or bisexual or transgender but are strong with the passion of men and women who stepped up this year just because discrimination is unacceptable to them and because they know it's time our state change.

…I am ashamed to be a member of a legislative body that would for nine years not take a public vote or public testimony on a bill to end discrimination against gay and transgender people — but which will take the state's time to vote publicly to deny me floor privileges because I walked into an open closet off a typically unused senate lounge and sat down. You prefer to focus on anything but the devastating stories of loss, fear, violence and discrimination gay & transgender people still face in our state.

(Facebook Nicole LeFavour)

Posted March 19, 2014 at 2:30pm ETC by Andy Towle
in Julie Bindel