11:20 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Documentary Gives Voices To Idaho’s Often Silent ‘Add The Words' Protestors

Credit 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.

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Idaho Legislature
5:19 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Gay Rights Advocates: Idaho Bills Would Upend Local Discrimination Bans

File photo. The Pocatello City Council took public comment on an anti-discrimination ordinance in April 2013.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:42 pm

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

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Public Rally
4:02 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Hundreds Expected To Rally For LGBT Rights In Boise

(L to R) Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, organizer Mistie Tolman, Rep. Grant Burgoyne at an Add the Words press conference last legislative session. Buckner-Webb and Burgoyne will speak at Saturday's rally in support of a bill that would seek to protect LGBT Idahoans from discrimination.
Credit 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.

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Gay Marriage
6:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

How Utah’s Ruling In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage Could Impact Idaho

Credit 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.

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Equality Index
9:09 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Boise Doubles Its Score On Gay Rights Index, Still Lower Than Region

About 150 people attended last year's Boise City Council meeting when the non-discrimination ordinance was approved. The measure passed unanimously, and helped the city gain points on the HRC municipal index.
Credit 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.

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Idaho News
11:54 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Idaho Falls Passes Partial LGBT Protections

Idaho Falls with the Mormon Temple in the background.
Credit 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.

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LGBT Rights
9:40 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Idaho Republicans Urge Legislators To Erase LGBT Protections

Dozens testified for hours at a recent hearing in Pocatello over whether the city should pass a non discrimination ordinance. The city council eventually approved the ordinance.
Credit 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.

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Idaho Republican Party
5:45 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Idaho GOP Considers Reversing Local Non-Discrmination Laws

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.

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2:08 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Pocatello Becomes Sixth Idaho City To Pass LGBT Protections

Credit 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.

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LGBT Rights
2:22 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

North Idaho Town Latest To Protect Against Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation Discrimination

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."

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LGBT Rights
7:18 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Boise Joins International Effort To Spotlight LGBT Struggles

A group gathered at the Anne Frank Memorial Thursday night. The event was part of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (I.D.A.H.O).
Credit 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.

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Gay Rights
8:46 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Pocatello Rejects Gay Rights Ordinance In Close Vote

The Pocatello CIty Council voted 4-3 against a proposed ordinance that would have expanded gay rights protections in the city. A hearing two weeks ago, seen here, attracted many supporters of the ordinance.
Credit 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.

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LGBT Rights
7:54 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Pocatello Latest Idaho City To Take Up Gay Rights In Absence Of State Action

More than 50 people spoke in favor of an anti-discrimination ordinance before the Pocatello City Council on April 4.
Credit 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.

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Idaho Human Rights Act
8:54 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Add The Words Supporters Seek to Educate, Collaborate With Lawmakers

(L to R) Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, Add The Words Co-chair Mistie Tolman, and Rep. Grant Burgoyne announced the Feb. 6 panel discussion.
Credit 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.

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1:21 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Ketchum Passes Law To Protect LGBT Residents

Ketchum Ordinance

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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City Policies
11:33 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Twin Falls, Lewiston Add Policies To Protect City Employees From Discrimination

Last night, the cities of Twin Falls and Lewiston added clauses to protect employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Unlike measures in Sandpoint and Boise that protect all residents, these policies apply only to city workers.

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11:00 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Boise’s New LGBT Liaison Wants To Be a Bridge Between Police And Community

Taylor Thornton, in orange, and Jon Nicholes listen as the Boise City Council takes public testimony on the anti-discrimination measure.
Credit Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

This week, Boise met the police department’s new L-G-B-T Liaison.  The position isn’t new. But it takes on new significance, now that Boise has an anti-discrimination ordinance to protect gays and lesbians when it comes to employment and housing.   

Katie Davey has been part of Victim’s Services at the Boise Police Department for a few months.  Part of her job is helping those who've been victimized because of their sexual orientation.

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Boise City Council
11:18 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Nondiscrimination Ordinance Approved In Boise, City Council Cites “Civic Responsibility”

About 150 people attended the Boise City Council meeting. The council unanimously approved the nondiscrimination ordinance.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s capitol city became the second community in the state to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance. Boise’s City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The ordinance takes effect on January first.

More than 150 people gave Boise’s City Council  a standing ovation after they approved the ordinance.  

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