Via Boise Public Radio:
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. In the nine years that LGBT activists have been fighting for it, this is the furthest the bill has come. Some of the debate among committee members this morning was emotional. “My heart has been touched by this hearing,” said Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls. “I’ve gotten to know you, and I know from this point on forever I will be kinder and I will be compassionate to those who bear a heavy burden.” 190 people testified since the hearing began this Monday. According to the Eye On Boise blog, 134 people spoke in favor of the bill, 54 spoke against and two were neutral.
The vote was 13-4 along party lines. Among those testifying on Monday was Family Research Council vice president Peter Sprigg, who has publicly called for “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”
RELATED: Yesterday the above sticky note appeared on the front page of the Idaho Statesman and other local newspapers.
Lance Wells, who placed the ad, says he is not in favor of making the change to add “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. “Coverage has been slanted in one direction for most sources,” Wells said. Wells says he is just standing up for his right to speak against adding the words. He says, so far, the feedback has been negative. “The majority of those were negative, some pretty aggressively so. Couple of words I can’t really repeat,” he said. Wells would not say how much he paid for the ad but he says it was worth every penny if it gets his message out there.
His website is here.