LGBT

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Thousands of Idahoans have flocked to the Statehouse to testify in front of lawmakers concerning a bill that would include sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the state's Human Rights Act.

The legislation, commonly called the "Add the Words" bill, had been denied a public hearing for nine consecutive years.

Kyle Green
Idaho Statesman

For the first time in nine years, supporters of the "Add the Words" movement will get the chance to testify in front of lawmakers. On Monday, the House State Affairs Committee will hear HB 2 beginning at 8 a.m.

Predicting what lawmakers will focus on during the Idaho legislative session is a bit of a gamble. But after eight terms in office, Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, has a good idea of the Legislature's priorities -- after all, he has a big influence in shaping that agenda. Hill, who is the President Pro-Tem of the Senate, points to education and gay rights issues as topics  front and center for lawmakers this year.

Gay Syrian Refugee Finds A Home In Idaho

Dec 18, 2014
Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

The US Department of State pledged to lead the world in accepting refugees from Syria at a meeting in Geneva this month. The organization says it is currently reviewing about 9,000 UNHCR referrals from Syria and is receiving approximately a thousand new referrals each month. A Boise refugee support organization anticipates many of those people will come to Idaho. 

Add The Words
Frankie Barnhill / For Boise State Public Radio

Four Idaho cities have made the latest rankings of a national group that advocates for the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people. 

The Washington D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign released its third annual Municipal Equality Index Wednesday. Boise, Idaho Falls, Meridian and Nampa are among the 353 cities ranked. The organization assigns cities a score based on "LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy." It examines 47 different criteria in six categories.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Members of Idaho's “add the words” movement have spent the last eight years asking state lawmakers to make it illegal to fire or deny housing to people because of sexual orientation or gender identity. Now a new documentary called "Add The Words" explores the events of the 2014 legislative session when that protest movement turned into large-scale civil disobedience.

Gay rights advocates say legislation introduced this week in Idaho would undermine local anti-discrimination ordinances passed in seven Idaho cities.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For the eighth year in a row, Idaho gay rights advocates will attempt to get the attention of the Legislature with a rally at the Capitol this Saturday.

"Add the Words Idaho" organizer Mistie Tolman says more than 600 people have said on Facebook that they’ll attend. She says people from all across the state will ask lawmakers to add the phrase “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the state’s human rights amendment.

wedding rings
MyTudut / Flickr Creative Commons

Utah became the 18th state in the country Friday to allow same-sex marriage after a federal judge ruled the state's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. This is the first federal case of its kind since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

If this were math class, Boise would have failed its latest test.

Boise got 56 points out of a possible 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) municipal equality index. This is the second year the national gay rights advocacy group has ranked Idaho's capital.

The DC-based organization looked at policies in all the capital cities in the country, as well as each state’s largest towns.

Sushkins / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Falls is now the seventh Idaho town to pass a law that provides some protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. The Idaho Falls City Council Thursday night passed a law barring discrimination in housing and employment. The vote came after hours of public testimony from people for  -- and against -- the ordinance.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Republican Party leaders are urging the Idaho Legislature to put a stop to local communities' efforts to provide discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. 

The approval of the non-binding resolution came Saturday at the GOP's annual Central Committee summer meeting in McCall.

The Idaho Republican Party’s state central committee will meet in McCall Saturday. Members will talk about possible rule changes and resolutions. One topic up for discussion: the committee will take a closer look at six cities which have passed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) protections.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

After more than six hours of public testimony and debate, Pocatello's city council passed a non-discrimination ordinance early Friday morning. The new law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people from housing, employment and public accommodation discrimination.

This makes the eastern Idaho city the latest in a wave of local governments to vote for a so-called "add the words" law, in absence of the state Legislature's inaction. Currently there is no statewide protection of this kind.

Coeur d'Alene has become the fifth city in Idaho to pass a law that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The City Council late Tuesday approved an anti-discrimination law by a 5-1 vote.

The ordinance protects people in areas of employment and public accommodations, such as restaurants and housing, by preventing discrimination solely based on "sexual orientation, gender identity and expression."

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Today, groups around the world are celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (I.D.A.H.O). Started in 2005 in Paris, the annual May 17 celebration has the acronym “IDAHO”. But this is the first year that the day is being celebrated in Idaho.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

An ordinance to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people failed in the city council of Pocatello Thursday night. The close vote was a setback for gay rights advocates.

Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad cast the deciding no vote, making it four against, three in favor. The ordinance would have made it a misdemeanor to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Those voting no said they didn't reach their decision easily.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Thursday, the city council in Pocatello is expected to vote on whether to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s one of several cities in Idaho that have taken up the cause of gay rights – an issue the Idaho Legislature has so far resisted. But even some gay rights supporters wonder if the local ordinance would change anything.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Supporters of an effort to add the words "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the Idaho Human Rights Act will try again this year to get lawmakers on board. Draft legislation surfaced Friday that would protect against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

A similar effort to "Add the Words," failed in a Senate committee last year. Now advocates are focused on education and collaboration before they formally introduce the bill.

Ketchum Passes Law To Protect LGBT Residents

Jan 23, 2013

In a unanimous vote last night, the Ketchum city council added protections for LGBT residents. The new law protects against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Ketchum is the third city in Idaho to pass this kind of ordinance, following Sandpoint and Boise. Currently there is no statewide law protecting against housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio

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