As this morning’s hearing on HB 427 stretches toward the end of its third hour, some of those being called to testify are no longer here. Among those testifying most recently, Grant Olsen told the House State Affairs Committee that his parents were of Russian Jewish descent, and when he was born, because there was no hospital in Wendell, his mother went to St. Benedict’s in Jerome. He said he’d hate to think what would have happened had she been refused service there. Olsen said he works with refugees. “I would hate to think that they could be refused services, because that’s not the Idaho they came for,” he said. “This bill is in opposition to everything I grew up with and came to love about this great state.”
Judy Cross, a deacon at Treasure Valley Metropolitan Community Church and president of the board of the Interfaith Alliance, told the committee, “Please do not codify prejudice in the name of faith. Please do not allow religious freedom to become religious abuse.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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