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04/19/2007


More Than 65 Gay Rights Protesters Demonstrate Again at Idaho's Capitol: VIDEO

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Earlier this month 44 LGBT activists were arrested at Idaho's state capitol after they entered the Senate chamber and demanded inclusion in the state's anti-discrimination laws.

That hasn't slowed them down. Yesterday, at least 65 returned to the capitol and ringed the rotunda, KTVB reports:

Thursday's demonstration didn't include blocking entrances to lawmakers' chambers, the event that precipitated arrests Feb. 3. Idaho State Police troopers who guard the Capitol observed the silent protest -- the demonstrators covered their mouths with their hands -- but didn't intervene.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "More Than 65 Gay Rights Protesters Demonstrate Again at Idaho's Capitol: VIDEO" »


Police Arrest 44 LGBT Activists in Protest at Idaho Senate Chamber: VIDEO

2_idaho

Police arrested 44 LGBT activists including former state Senator Nicole LeFavour as they demanded inclusion in the state's anti-discrimination laws, the Statesman reports:

“We are here to insist the Idaho Legislature finally add four words, 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity,' to Idaho’s Human Rights Act to prevent the suicides, beatings, loss of jobs, evictions and the fear that too many gay and transgender Idahoans live with every day," the group said in a news release. "We do this for those who live in fear and those who may despair this year if no one speaks for them."

Various figures were given throughout Monday for how many protesters were involved, but Idaho State Police said they arrested 44 people and cited each for trespassing.

The last arrest came after 11 a.m., when former state Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, was taken into custody after the Senate voted to suspend its rule that allows former members to be on the Senate floor.

Protesters wore 'Add the Words IDAHO' t-shirts and covered their mouths with their hands.

Watch KTVB's report on the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

Idaho

Continue reading "Police Arrest 44 LGBT Activists in Protest at Idaho Senate Chamber: VIDEO" »


Idaho Lawmaker Introduces Bill That Would Allow Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays

Idaho Republican Rep. Lynn Luker has introduced a bill in Idaho that would allow religious-based discrimination against gays, Al Jazeera reports:

LukerRepublican Rep. Lynn Luker introduced the legislation, and said the bill is meant to "protect persons holding occupational licenses in the exercise of their religious freedom." The Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses manages certifications for professional boards from social workers to doctors. The bill does not apply to emergency responders and will not prevent Idahoans from being fired if they choose to deny service based on religious reasons. Additionally, it does not authorize the "intentional infliction of emotional or physical injury."

Wrote Luker in a blog post:

With government mandates of all types forcing religiously faithful people to violate the tenants of their faith, including the forced subsidizing of contraceptives and termination of life, interference with faith based counseling, and compelled participation in same gender weddings, concern about refusing such mandates prompted the bill to protect the right to earn a living while staying true to a person’s faith.


Idaho Professor Believes State's Anti-Gay Marriage Laws Could Easily Be Overturned, Cites Ohio And Utah

DavidAdlerIn an opinion piece for the Idaho Statesmen, Boise State University public affairs professor David Adler (right) stressed the precedent-setting Utah and Ohio decisions regarding same-sex marriage as indications that Idaho's own anti-gay marriage laws could easily be struck down. The two cases marked the first time federal judges ruled on the same-sex marriage laws of specific states after the take-down of DOMA, and they are indicative of the growing de-legitimization of laws barring marriage, or its recognition in other states. If Adler's predictions are accurate, Idaho, which recently had a lawsuit filed in the federal court, could see gay marriage legalized sooner than expected. 

The Idaho Statesmen reports:

Judge Robert J. Shelby’s decision in the Utah case, which has a direct bearing on the Idaho Constitution, was significant to the national drive for same-sex marriage. It represents the first time a federal court has ruled on the constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage since the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. Judge Shelby held that state laws barring same-sex marriage violate the due process clause and the equal protection guarantees of the 14th Amendment.

The opinion in the Ohio case, delivered by Judge Timothy Black, is precedent-setting and speaks to Idaho law. While the ruling applies only to death certificates, Judge Black’s determination that “once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away,” represents a stark challenge to Idaho’s refusal to recognize the lawful marriages of same-sex couples in other states.

Utah and Ohio will appeal these rulings, but their legal rationales for banning gay marriage, like Idaho’s, have lost their force in light of the landmark opinion in Windsor. Idaho’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and its refusal to respect existing marriages undermines same-sex couples’ ability to pursue their goals and dreams, disadvantages them financially and denies what Kennedy called the “dignity and status of immense import.” 

Adler believes that Idaho's laws will not survive any scrutiny because they only serve to limit the rights of a minority and set them apart from the rest of the general public (rather than aiding any kind of governmental interest).


Federal Lawsuit Filed Challenging Idaho's Gay Marriage Ban

Four gay couples have filed suit in Idaho challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage and recognition thereof, NCLR reports:

IdahoThe couples, all from Boise, include university instructors, a teacher of deaf children, and a military veteran who served with the Idaho National Guard in Iraq. Three of the couples are raising children together.

The lawsuit argues that Idaho’s laws barring same-sex couples from marrying and prohibiting the state from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states violates the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The couples are Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson. They are represented by Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Read the complaint and more about the case HERE.


Idaho GOP Official Wants LGBT Anti-Bias Ordinances Invalidated So Gays Won't Come to Work in Tutus

The Republican Party of Idaho is not happy that a growing number of municipalities have banned discrimination against gay people and have passed a resolution urging the legislature to invalidate them, the Spokesman Review reports:

RasorSix Idaho cities have passed such non-discrimination ordinances in the past year and a half, and a seventh, Idaho Falls, is looking into one now; the Idaho GOP wants them halted.

The party central committee’s resolution isn’t binding on the Legislature, which is 81 percent Republican. “It’s a way for the people to make their expressions known to the Legislature,” said Idaho Republican Chairman Barry Peterson. “We let ‘em know that this is the way that the majority of the party feels.”

And to give you an example of the kind of archaic stereotypes their bigotry is based on you don't have to read too far:

Cornel Rasor (pictured), a former Bonner County commissioner and chairman of the Idaho GOP’s resolutions committee, said, “I’d hire a gay guy if I thought he was a good worker. But if he comes into work in a tutu … he’s not producing what I want in my office.” ...

“If a guy has a particular predilection and keeps it to himself, that’s fine,” Rasor said. “But if he wants to use my business as a platform for his lifestyle, why should I have to subsidize that? And that’s what these anti-discrimination laws do.”


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