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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘No one chooses this life,’ ‘What’s next - tall people, short people?,’ ‘They will never be satisfied’

In continuing testimony at today’s hearing on HB 2:

Diane Terhune of Meridian told lawmakers, “I am the mother of a transgender child. ... Having children has been the absolute greatest gift in my life because it taught me to love unconditionally. When my littlest one started kindergarten I went back to work teaching. Life was good … I told everyone that my son was the best boy in the world. Then things changed. My son came out to me shortly before his 13th birthday. Hi innocently told me he that he his life would have been easier if he had been born a girl.” After his 13th birthday, “He told me he was afraid of getting broad shoulders and a deep voice. I immediately got him into counseling, and I found out that my child was transgender.” She said she and her husband worried about “how our child was going to be able to get along in life. ... My son now presents as my daughter, and I can’t bear the thought of my precious child being treated unfairly by anyone simply for being herself. For those of you who think LGBT individuals don’t need to be protected as a group because they choose their lifestyles, let me tell you that no one chooses this life, because it is one of hardship. … I love my child with all my heart. People like my daughter are human beings the same as you and I, and they just want the chance to live happy productive lives. I don’t regret the fact that my child is transgender, she is exactly the person that she was always meant to be and I adore her. What I’m asking you here today is to give her and all gay and transgender individuals a chance of being productive citizens without suffering discrimination.”

Sonja Davis of Idaho Falls said, “I feel that I should have the freedom to hire the employee that I believe will work best. … There are already plenty of regulations controlling small businesses. What section of society will be next? Tall people, short people, fat people, people with acne, people who are vegetarian, vegan? Where will it stop?” A retired business co-owner, she said, “Hiring the employee who has the right qualifications, people skills … is already a dicey undertaking. I should be free from the strong arm of government coming after me because of the choice I’ve made to best run my business that I have worked hard for. I should have the freedom to rent my property to whomever I please. As a woman, a mother and a grandmother, I should be free from undue concern of what myself, my children and grandchildren may encounter from using a public restroom, for heaven’s sakes. I believe that this bill will infringe upon my rights of conscience and freedom of religion.”

Allen Marsh, speaking against the bill, said, “Some of the activists have threatened pastors. There’s no limit, once they got something, there’s always something more.” He said, "They will never be satisfied until there is absolutely no restriction on any type of sexual limitation."


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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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