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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘I have lived an open life,’ ‘You’re here to referee,’ ‘Enough on my plate’

More testimony from this evening’s hearing:

Janelle Wintersteen drew plenty of laughs, lightening the mood in the Lincoln Auditorium. She said as a lesbian, “I have lived an open life in Idaho.” She said she didn’t announce her sexual orientation outright, but after getting to know her and a little bit about her life, people guessed. “People like to be correct,” she said to laughter. “Some of ‘em were a little put off when they met me, but that did not last.” He said she’d been brushed once by discrimination, but it didn’t harm her, because she had friends and neighbors who supported her. Wintersteen urged passage of HB 2. Rep. Paulette Jordan, D-Plummer, told her, “I cannot imagine someone as precious as you going without protections here in Idaho.”

Daryl Yandell of Mountain Home said, “I believe Idaho is large enough and its people noble enough to accept and accommodate the differences.” Speaking in favor of HB 2, she said, “You don’t take sides for one part of your constituency over another. You’re here to referee, so that one group does not overrun another.”

Ronalee Linsenman said, “It’s fine, let them live their lives any way they choose, but it is a self-identifiable trait. ... How do I identify who those folks might be? How do I know who I cannot offend? Are they going to voluntarily choose to somehow self-identify?” She said, “In just kind of a snarky little way I would submit that one of the unintended consequences of this is … this will turn us into something of self-preservationists and stalkers. We will be profilers of someone else’s sexual proclivities. And that’s not a new duty I want to take on in this world. I have enough that I have on my plate.”

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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