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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

AG’s opinion: HB 2 wouldn’t force clergy to marry gay couples, wouldn’t impair free speech

An Idaho Attorney General’s opinion on HB 2 concludes that the bill as written would not force clergy to marry gay couples, and would not impair any Idahoan’s freedom of speech; you can read it here. Both questions were posed by Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, who also asked the Attorney General to address whether federal or state laws already exist to protect gay or transgender people in Idaho from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

“This question cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because the relevant law is not settled,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane. He noted that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination on the basis of sex; the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection of the laws; and the Idaho Human Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination based on sex. “Idaho anti-discrimination statutes do not contain a specific prohibition with respect to sexual orientation or gender identity,” Kane wrote.

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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