Posts tagged: Idaho Human Rights Act
You may have heard that state Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, returned his copy of the movie “Brokeback Mountain” that Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, sent to all Idaho senators last yuletide. LeFavour, the state’s only openly gay legislator, told the Idaho Statesman she circulated the video about a closeted gay relationship to launch a discussion about expanding human rights protections for Idaho gays. On my Huckleberries Online blog (spokesman.com/hbo) last week, Nonini’s wife, Cathyanne, explained why LeFavour’s actions fell flat with her and her husband: “We returned the movie without a fuss and public comment – and it was my idea. I am a cradle Catholic and found her sending this movie in very poor taste, especially at Christmas. Nothing was written to Nicole, nor was anything unkind said to her. Nicole and the media were responsible for this being made public”/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.
A bit more on an Idaho Legislature culture clash, which was reported Wednesday by the Statesman's Sean Cockerham in a profile of Boise Democratic Sen. Nicole LeFavour, who is retiring from the Senate to run for 2nd District Congress. Cockerham was unable to reach House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who LeFavour said was the lone lawmaker among 60 who received a DVD of “Brokeback Mountain” as a Christmas gift and expressed his disfavor. LeFavour intended the gift as an icebreaker that might help convince lawmakers to finally expand the Idaho Human Rights Act to cover discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I caught up with Nonini this morning after his committee passed a compromise on teacher pay that's one of the few puzzle pieces left before lawmakers can adjourn for the year. Nonini explained why he took offense and how he returned the disc to LeFavour when the Legislature convened in January/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Was it bad form on Sen. LeFavour's part to send “Brokeback Mountain” to a social conservative like Nonini? Or bad form on Nonini's part to make an issue of it?
The “Add The Words” campaign, which has pushed unsuccessfully this year for lawmakers to consider legislation adding the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act to ban discrimination on that basis in housing and employment, will hold a vigil on the Statehouse steps on Thursday evening to “shed some final light on a dark legislative session,” the group said in a news release. It's asking supporters to bring flashlights, cell phones or other non-flame producing light, as open flames aren't allowed on the steps/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Do you want the Idaho Legislature to “Add the Words” any time soon?
Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, right, speaks to reporters at the Idaho Press Club on Tuesday; at left is Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)
During today's Idaho Press Club Headliner luncheon, House Speaker Lawerence Denney was asked about the prospect of the “Add The Words” legislation coming up in the House; the Senate State Affairs Committee earlier refused, along party lines, to hold grant the bill a hearing. It would expand Idaho's Human Rights Act to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Denney said, “I have not seen a bill, and I don't think that there is any change in support on the House side”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: What's the best/worst action taken by the Legislature or a committee today?