“Add the Words” protesters have returned to the Idaho Capitol, holding silent vigils in the rotunda outside the House and Senate chambers each morning until the morning floor session adjourns; the vigils started late last week. The protesters, who stand silently with their hands over their mouths, want Idaho to add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act, to prohibit discrimination on those bases. Former state Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, said the vigils are “just making it clear we’re not going away, the issue’s not going away.” More than two dozen protesters joined in on Friday; a dozen and a half stood vigil today.
LeFavour said since the House State Affairs Committee voted down legislation to make the change earlier this session on a party-line vote, there’s been lots of talk about a compromise bill. “There’s language out there that we don’t find objectionable,” she said, to deal with protecting free speech concerns and not forcing anyone to endorse something they don’t support. “There are people in here working on things,” LeFavour said. “I think there’s more agreement than I ever realized.”