THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — [UPDATE: See below.] A local grass roots group is hoping again, to push the state legislators into adding the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Idaho’s human rights act. Tireless effort to do so has been underway since a 2006 poll showed firing a trans or LGBT employee shouldn’t be legal. The Idaho legislature, however, has always shut them out.
This month at the opening of the 2012 session, the group tried again, this time backed by a creative “Add The Words” sticky-notes campaign, attempted to deliver notes from hundreds of Idahoans state-wide to the legislature. However, according to “Add The Words” spokesperson Mistie Tolman, they were stopped by a state trooper and shut out of the chamber.
On the way out group member Lisa Perry posted a few sticky-notes and Cody Hafer read this statement: ” . . . Our sticky notes are simply words, not a permanent fixture, just our calm way of respectfully and quietly bringing the voices and stories of thousands of Idahoans here. It’s time for our Legislature to add the words ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ to Idaho’s Human Rights Act so that our gay and transgender friends are included in our fair employment, housing and education laws.”
Mistie Tolman in The Idaho Statesman: “There are many challenges the Legislature faces to find ways to help Idahoans. But there is one simple thing our elected officials can do for Idahoans with very little effort: They can add the words. We intend to share the stories of those who have no voice until our state’s governing body decides it is time to do the right thing and include all Idahoans in the Human Rights Act. It is time to change the experience of those who live in fear.”
That last line is reason enough to add the words: “It is time to change the experience of those who live in fear.”
UPDATE Feb. 11, 2012: The Idaho state senate killed the “Add The Words” bill. Two Democrats for, 6 Republicans against. It didn’t get out of the committee.
The group’s website: http://addthewords.org/index.html
Watch the “Add The Words” video about the group being shut out of the legislature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=m8W_o1aU_wM
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