The Idaho Legislature is standing against hate.
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday that recognizes the Legislature’s commitment to human rights and recognition of human diversity.
The move is an effort to support Gov. Phil Batt’s vow to combat hate.
“The resolution provides an opportunity to send a very important message and focuses the public’s attention on the issue,” said Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint.
Vocal Aryan Nations members, the Ruby Ridge standoff and Mark Fuhrman’s move to Sandpoint have grabbed national headlines and given Idaho an undeserving stigma, Keough said.
“People in my district are concerned and feel the limit on economic development opportunities that would provide jobs for our people,” she said. “Businesses are deciding to relocate elsewhere because of that notoriety. Economic development is difficult enough without that type of unwanted stamp.”
Sen. Clyde Boatright, R-Rathdrum, also favored of the bill.
“It demonstrates the Legislature is committed to the principle of human rights,” Boatright said.
In his Jan. 12 State of the State speech, Batt spoke out against Idaho’s reputation that he said is unwarranted and accelerated by a “handful of malcontents and screwballs.”
“They range from eccentric to anarchistic,” he said.
“The hatred which spews forth from such evil people as the Aryan Nations is beneath contempt. We denounce such blatant racism and resolve that we will do all we can, within the constraints of free speech, to discredit these pseudo-Idahoans.”
The House passed the resolution early this session.