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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘This is who I am,’ ‘Tell ‘em you love them,’ ‘Not a deviancy, a medical condition’

More testimony from this evening’s “Add the Words” hearing:

Patrick Smith of Meridian told the committee, “I believe that everyone deserves respect and the freedom to work hard and support themselves without fear.” He said, “We’re not here to stomp on anyone’s religious beliefs, I promise you, however, religious freedom stops when it begins to encroach on the rights of others.” He said he was born biologically female, “but as you can see I now live my life fully as a man, because this is who I am. … I need to clarify though, I didn’t choose this. I have yet to meet an individual of the LGBT community that chose this life.” Smith said, “We just want to live our own lives. … Isn’t that what America is all about?”

Pro-Life,” who was known as Marvin Richardson before he legally changed his name, broke down in tears as he recalled the story of Ryan Zicha, who committed suicide after years of harassment for being gay. “It’s not government … that are going to change this,” he told the lawmakers. “It’s up to us Christians to stop that, not by passing laws, but by being good to these people. … That is the solution, it’s not legislation.” He said he adamantly opposes HB 2, but urged the committee to pass the bill so the full House can vote on it, and said he’s wanted for years to testify about the bill, and never was given the chance until now. He said, “Tell ‘em you love them and ask them to repent, and go straight and have babies. … I know I’m right about this.”

Avery Lutthans, a transgender male from Nampa, said, “I was born with what’s considered a female body, my brain didn’t match that. … This is not a deviancy, it’s a medical condition. I exist.” He said, “I don’t use public restrooms, I cannot change in a locker room, and I don’t go out with friends. I am also no longer welcome at my church because of who and what I am.” Lutthans told the committee, “People like me and my friends deserve to be treated fairly. We just want to be treated like everyone else.”

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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