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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Testimony: Bathrooms, wearing a dress, taking it off, and dueling lawyers…

Julie Lynde, head of the Cornerstone Institute of Idaho, spoke out against HB 2 at today's hearing. “This isn’t about whether a guy can wear a dress, it’s about whether he can take it off in front of your daughter, your mother, your niece,” she said.

She cited several cases and made reference to the ACLU; Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, then asked to have an ACLU attorney who is present to address those issues. Vice Chair Gayle Batt, who is temporarily presiding as Chairman Tom Loertscher has stepped out, said that was fair, as the committee had already heard from the Alliance Defending Freedom’s attorney in a similar way. Richard Eppink, legal director of the ACLU of Idaho, said, “There is nothing in this bill that would prohibit single-gender bathrooms the same as they’re provided currently in the state of Idaho.”

As for religious freedom, Eppink said, “I have not found anything in the bill that would restrict the rights of clergy to say what they want or think what they want at any time or at any place.” He said the existing Idaho Human Rights Act protects against discrimination on the basis of religion. He added, “I don’t believe that this bill provides for any infringement on the freedom of speech or the freedom of association.”



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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