Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay troop leaders and volunteers Monday. The controversial ban was something some conservative groups in Idaho wanted to keep in place. However, many religion-based troops are expected to take advantage of a compromise that's expected to result in few actual changes. 

Kellie Parker / Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this week, Latah County officials voted to update their employee handbook to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The rule only applies to LGBT people who work for the county, and not the entire population.

“At this point it’s not on our agenda to take that up, although it could be," says Latah County Commissioner Tom Lamar. "It could be talked about more.”

Northwest politicians reacted Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.


A new lawsuit in Idaho claims the same legal argument that paved the way for gay marriage in the state should also make it illegal to refuse to hire gay people.

An Idaho Republican lawmaker's political website has been snapped up by a group claiming to be gay rights activists, decorated with rainbows and replaced with text requesting that the legislature meet with same-sex marriage supporters.

State Rep. Paul Shepherd from Riggins is backing a non-binding resolution urging Congress to impeach federal judges who violate the U.S. Constitution. Shepherd contends that recent court rulings overturning state bans on same-sex marriages violate the Constitution.

Jonathan Hull / Flickr Creative Commons

A landmark Utah proposal protecting gay and transgender individuals has passed its test at the state Legislature.

A Republican-controlled state Senate committee voted unanimously Thursday morning to support the bill, sending it to the full Senate for a vote.

The bill, which has earned the rare stamp of approval from the Utah-based Mormon church, bars discrimination against gay and transgender individuals while protecting the rights of religious groups and individuals.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

After more than 20 hours of public testimony, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee decided to kill the "Add the Words" bill that would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Idahoans.

The House State Affairs Committee —made up of the Legislature's most conservative lawmakers— voted 13-4 to hold the bill in committee. Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

Opponents of a gay rights measure in Idaho are highlighting what they call the “bathroom” problem.

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.