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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Batt to Canyon GOP Lincoln Day: ‘If backing equal protection makes me a RINO, so be it’

Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt, delivering the keynote speech at the Canyon County GOP Lincoln Day banquet last night in Nampa, made waves with a stirring call to action for Republicans on civil rights for gays. Batt recalled his illustrious career as a Republican politician Idaho. “Now, we think it’s OK to kill a Civil Rights expansion on a party-line vote. It’s not OK and we’ll regret it,” he warned.

“Nobody has really explained to me why a gay person can’t order a hamburger or rent a room from somebody who serves everybody else,” Batt said. “Some opponents of Add the Words say that their religion will not allow it. Write an exemption, as long as it’s not just an excuse. Others say it’s government intrusion. Would it be OK to deny women the right to vote because it’s government intrusion? Would it be OK to deny blacks a hamburger and a room because it’s government intrusion? I can see why some individuals would vote against Add the Words. But to party-line kill it without explanation — COME ON!”

You can read Batt’s full speech here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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