January 29, 2011 in Letters, Opinion

Local codes best bet for rights

 

Our only child, and son, was born gay. Under current federal law he can fight and die for our country but under Idaho state law he is not welcome to live here.

In Idaho, individuals with differing sexual orientations can be terminated from their employment and removed from housing if they are gay or even thought to be gay. This lack of security for productive members of our society, who have committed no crimes, troubles me greatly, as it ought to for all socially responsible individuals.

Our state Legislature has refused to change this law and it has become incumbent upon us to approach our cities and county governments to change these laws. Local ordinances will not carry with them the same strength as a state law, but if we continue to lead as Boise, Caldwell and Pocatello have already done, then the state will ultimately follow.

Between the years 2005 and 2009, Idaho teenage suicide rates ranked third to 11th nationally, with 187 completing the act. Not all deaths are from sexual harassment, but with 61 percent of gay students feeling unsafe at school we need to incorporate anti-bullying policies as part of our educational experience.

Jon Ruggles

Wallace


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