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Idaho Republicans Reject Gay Rights Measure

Huffpost: Gay Voices

Over 1,000 Idaho residents were present at JoshSwan-PFLAGthe Idaho State Capitol for hearings on whether to advance legislation regarding nondiscrimination for gay and transgender citizens. The bill would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Idaho’s existing nondiscrimination law. The Idaho Human Rights Act already bans discrimination in employment, housing and in places open to the public like retail stores on such attributes as race, sex, color, and religion.

A committee of the Republican-led House of Representatives voted 13-4 to prevent the bill from advancing to the broader chamber. Proponents have tried to persuade the legislature to take up the bill for the past nine years. The measure is unlikely to be taken up again this year, but protesters will surely  continue to  voice their support for the so-called ‘Add JulieStratton-PFLAGThe Words’ campaign.

While the state legislature has failed to include language explicitly protecting gay and transgender citizens, 10 Idaho cities have already adopted  similar nondiscrimination clauses. Additionally,  a federal appeals court reversed a state ban on same-sex marriage in Idaho last October.

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