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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Rep. McCrostie: ‘Are your religious beliefs greater than mine?’

After Paul Thompson of Twin Falls told the committee that he spoke out of faith telling the panel to reject HB 2 as protecting sin, Rep. John McCrostie, D-Boise, told him that he, too, is a Christian, and a graduate of Oral Roberts University. “I consider myself to be a man of faith as well,” McCrostie said. “One of the aspects that differentiates the two of us … you’re a straight man. I have a husband and I’m gay. So my question for you, is are your religious beliefs equal to the same religious beliefs that I possess, or are your religious beliefs greater than mine?”

Thompson thanked him for the question, and said, “I understand the complexity of it. I’m not standing before you today to present my religion as superior to any other religion that is present in the room. I respect an individual’s desire to want to live out their lives as they feel compelled to do so. But I owe myself authority to the written word of God.” He said, “I have no other way to interpet this scripture.”

Rep. Paulette Jordan, D-Plummer, asked to pose a question to the administrator of the Idaho Human Rights Commission. “My question is … whether you have heard of any religious person being fired or refused housing just simply based on their belief,” Jordan said. Linda Goodman of the Human Rights Commission responded, “Yes, we do have cases of discrimination filed by individuals based on religion.” Jordan said, “I wanted to make sure to make a point of that … so that it’s known for the record,” and all are aware that the current law protects against discrimination on the basis of religion.

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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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