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discriminate against gays and lesbians in Idaho
Fri February 10, 2012
“Add the Words” Bill Fails
BOISE, Id – An overflow crowd watched today as the Senate State Affairs Committee killed a bill that would have made it illegal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in Idaho. The bill would have added the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act. Pocatello Senator Edgar Malepeai made an impassioned plea before the committee, in favor of the bill.
Edgar Malepeai “This legislation does not create a new protected class, since all people have a sexual orientation and gender identity. It ensures all Idahoans are free to hold jobs and rent apartments regardless of whether they are straight or gay.”
His voice broke as he implored his colleagues to at least give the bill a public hearing.
Edgar Malepeai “We owe it to those who know and love their gay family members and friends to take this issue seriously and allow them to speak about the harm they see being done each day in Idaho without the voice of the state finally saying that discrimination is wrong.”
Despite his eloquent plea, the Committee voted along party lines to kill the bill. Malepeai and his fellow Democrat, Ketchum Senator Michelle Stennett, voted for the bill. The other seven members of the committee, all Republicans, voted against it. After the vote, members of the crowd could be heard saying “Shame on you” and “you have no sense of decency.” Dozens then proceeded to the front of the auditorium and placed yellow sticky notes next to the Senator’s chairs. The notes say “Add the Words,” and are part of an ongoing campaign in support of the failed bill.
Copyright 2012 BSPR