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04/19/2007


Big News from Boise, Idaho as City Council Unanimously Approves LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance: VIDEOS

Boise

Boise, Idaho's City Council took a big step forward last night, passing an ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation before a packed house that rose to gave it a standing ovation when the vote was over.

Writes the Statesman:

Following unanimous passage of the ordinance, the standing-room-only crowd in the State Capitol’s west wing auditorium stood and cheered. Jordan and fellow councilwoman Lauren McLean, who spearheaded the effort to draft the ordinance, said it is something Boise has lacked and will help the city’s standing with companies considering whether to open new establishments here. Churches, private organizations such as The Boy Scouts of America and other governments operating in the city are exempt from the law, which takes effect Jan. 1.

Boise is the second city in the state (and the largest) to pass such an ordinance. The first was Sandpoint.

Watch reports from KBOI and NWCN, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Idaho Bar Refuses To Sell Pepsi, MillerCoors Over Gay Support: VIDEO

AntiGayGrill

Citing their Christian faith, Mike and Mari Fuller, owners of the Waha Bar & Grill in Idaho, say they will no longer sell Pepsi or MillerCoors beer because of those companies' ties to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

"The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is an entity that collects money from major corporations to further promote policies for the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders, and as Christians, we don't support that," said Mr. Fuller. He and his wife said they would bring back the products if the corporations changed their tune on LGBT rights. MillerCoors says that ain't gonna happen.

"MillerCoors has a strong track record of supporting the diversity of our employees as well as the communities in which we work and live. Due to the diversity and breadth of our consumers and because we believe in supporting the many communities we serve, we support myriad organizations across the country. The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is one of many organizations we are proud to support," said a spokesperson.

Despite their allegedly strong convictions, the Fullers still sell products from Coca-Cola and Budweiser, both of which work with the NGLCC. Guess they weren't too thorough in their witch hunt.

Watch a video report on the Fullers' conservative menu AFTER THE JUMP...

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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.

Idaho Production of 'Rent' Under Fire Because Characters are 'Infected with AIDS' and Gay: VIDEO

Rent

Is it 1985 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho? You'd think so. A production of the musical Rent at The Lake City Playhouse is under fire:

"This rock opera is stirring controversy because some of rent's characters are infected with AIDS or HIV and some are gay."

The playhouse has received dozens of letters and people are planning a protest of the show when it opens on January 13.

Contact the Lake City Playhouse HERE and tell them you and Towleroad support them!

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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LGBT Stories: Teen Becomes More Popular After Coming Out In Conservative Town

Derrick Capson TR

BY NATHAN MANSKE

Guestblogger

We filmed Derrick's story in Pocatello, Idaho. When we first arrived in Pocatello, we stopped at a diner to grab some dinner and a beer, which became custom after a long drive. 

After I went back in, the young waitress made a joke about leaving my friends at the table to go talk on the phone. She was quite the talkative and friendly waitress and kept asking questions, why we're in town, what we're doing, etc. I then noticed she had a small rainbow chain dangling from her necklace. I told her all about the site and the Tour and that we were having an event at Idaho State the next day and that she should come. She did and she brought some friends. Add that to Derrick's ultimately optimistic story, our little visit to Pocatello was a bit of a surprise hit.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Driftwood Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee embarked on a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written stories via IFD. You can follow IFD on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

CHECK OUT OUR RECENT LGBT STORIES...
Bullying Affects Everyone [tr]
Accidental Online Chat Leads to 13 Years of Love [tr]
A Man's Journey Into - and Out of - 'Ex-Gay' Therapy[tr]
Gay Teen Saved by Lesbian Teacher, Outed, Excommunicated by Church [tr]
Boston College Professor Nearly Outed in Uganda, Comes Out in Ghana [tr]

Continue reading "LGBT Stories: Teen Becomes More Popular After Coming Out In Conservative Town" »


Boise State Football Player Charged in Widening Male Rape Case

Some disturbing news out of Boise State University.

Reuters reports: Clarke

Three college football players and two others are facing a raft of sexual crime, battery and false imprisonment charges stemming from incidents at a high school in Blackfoot, Idaho, last year, according to court documents.

Police say the five athletes forcibly penetrated fellow members of the high school basketball team and battered and restrained the victims in a locker room and on a school bus during a three-month period that began last December.

Charged are Anthony Clarke (pictured), now a freshman wide receiver at Boise State University, Nathan Walker, a tight end for the Idaho State University Bengals, Logan Chidester, a freshman on the football team at Carroll College in Montana and Tyson Katseanes of Blackfoot, all 19. A fifth, unnamed defendant has been charged as a juvenile in the case.

Since the charges have been filed, more victims have come forward:

Blackfoot Police Captain Kurt Asmus said on Thursday that law enforcement officials had contacted additional victims since charges were filed earlier this month based on allegations made by four people.

"It has mushroomed from there," Asmus said. "Now that everything is out, more victims are coming forward because they realize they are not alone and they don't need to be afraid or embarrassed."

He said authorities are tracking leads in other states and that additional charges were likely.


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