Senate Republicans quickly kill Idaho 'Add the Words' gay rights bill

Republicans on the Senate State Affairs Committee declined Friday to introduce a bill adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Idaho's human rights law. The law would extend protections in employment, housing, education and public accommodation.

The committee's two Democrats favored printing the bill, authored by committee member Edgar Malepeai of Pocatello, who was joined by Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum.

Malepeai took a long pause as he made his case for a public hearing on the bill, fighting back tears, and apologized to the committee for "my emotional breakdown."

Chairman Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, said no apology was necessary, and Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, told Malepeai he appreciated his passion and expressed respect for Malepeai. McKenzie later said that had there been a roll call, he would have voted to introduce the bill. The measure died on a voice vote.

No public testimony was taken, which is the custom for hearings on bill introduction.

The vote was taken without debate.

About 300 proponents attended the hearing. After the short meeting ended, people placed about 30 sticky notes on the committee dais. Then then gathered in the hallway outside the committee room to sing "We Shall Overcome."

Earlier, McKenzie moved the hearing to accommodate the crowd. Before the meeting Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, expressed skepticism that the crowd would convince McKenzie to move the hearing.

"They're not going to move it," she said.

After McKenzie announced the move, LeFavour said, "He's great. I don't expect him to be a bear about anything."

LeFavour is Idaho's only openly lesbian or gay lawmaker.

Live streaming of the hearing is
available on Idaho Public TV.

You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.

Another Cowardly Voice Vote

No record now of who was yea or nay. The cowards, except those speaking in favor of the bill, have covered their votes from ridicule in a few years when the Supreme Court or Congress takes action.

party line vote

you can look up the committee members on legislature.idaho.gov

Congratulations! This thread was 3% less crappy vs previously!

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It's still clunky and the writing is horrible as usual

Wheres my human rights

I desreve words too, even if I am straight. Can we add the words straight and hetrosexual as well. That would make me happy! Whats so inclusive about gays having their own words but not me.

Your name is in the tax code.

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It's still clunky and the writing is horrible as usual

this is the real problem

I could care less what a person sexual orientation is, but why should gays be in a protected class. Your gayness does not come through your skin color or a disability. I know a few gays that look like average citizens and ive seen gays that wear a**less chaps talk and act very gay and thrive on "look at me im gay ". Should i be protected because i look white, normal and straight? Should people with tattoos be protected? Where in the world would it end. I dont prance around screaming im straight why would you do it if your gay?

this is the real problem

I could care less what a person sexual orientation is, but why should gays be in a protected class. Your gayness does not come through your skin color or a disability. I know a few gays that look like average citizens and ive seen gays that wear a**less chaps talk and act very gay and thrive on "look at me im gay ". Should i be protected because i look white, normal and straight? Should people with tattoos be protected? Where in the world would it end. I dont prance around screaming im straight why would you do it if your gay?