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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘We learn to hide,’ ‘Not proper role of govt,’ ‘Sinful liberty’

In continuing testimony on HB 2 today:

Jenny Seibert of Post Falls told the committee in her deep voice, “You may be able to tell the reason why I’m here today, is I’m fairly certain I was born this way. If the Family Research Council has any evidence (showing otherwise) I really would like to see it, because the kind of attention I get a lot of times isn’t the attention I really want.” She said, “My earliest recollection is that I knew myself to be a girl. Everyone else told me I was a boy.” That led to “a lot of shame,” she said. “I’ve been in Idaho since ‘88. My spouse and I had four children in Idaho. I know I don’t look like it, but I really wanted to be the best husband and father I could, but all along, my mind, my brain kept telling me that things were different. So I just kept putting that in the back of my head. What happens is you end up with dissonance. … You really learn how to play a role.” She said, “We learn to hide, because we have to, sometimes to live, sometimes to make a living, and sometimes to find that place to live in. Maybe it oughtn’t to be that way, because dang it, I was born this way.”

Idaho Falls City Councilwoman Barbara Ehardt spoke out against HB 2. “If you decide to add these four words, then what about all the other groups against whom discrimination occurs?” she asked. “34.9 percent of the country is obese and they are highly discriminated against. … And there exists medical evidence that these people are genetically predisposed to obesity. What about short men? Bald men? Redheads? … All of these groups are discriminated against, but again I submit to you that you cannot legislate kindness. .. Is it the role of government to dictate how a business must run, whom they must serve and what they must do? And I submit that they must not. If a business decides to do things counterintuitive to best practices, then the market will dictate their success or failure, as it should, as it should, not government. … that is not the proper role of government.”  

Paul Thompson of Twin Falls told the committee, “I appeal to you as a man of faith.” He opposed HB 2, saying, “When we give a path to equate sinful liberty with civil equal rights, then we become positioned to invite the judgment of God to come upon us, our descendants, and even upon the general prosperity of the land.” He said the civil rights bill "gives lawful permission to sexual deviant behavior," and called it "an offense to the lord of creation."

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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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