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

Testimony: ‘Right thing, right time,’ ‘Nowhere is safe’

From testimony tonight on HB 2:

Larry Chase told the lawmakers, “Never in my business career have I ever seen any difference between gay or straight workers.” He said he once had to respond to an age discrimination complaint at the Idaho Human Rights Commission that was determined to be unfounded; he didn’t have to hire a lawyer, and the matter was quickly resolved. “If you run your business correctly and fairly, you will have few problems with discrimination laws,” he said.

Kenneth Watts, a hospital chaplain, urged passage of the bill. “It is the right thing to do, and it is the right time to do it,” he said.

Astrid Wilde said, “I love Idaho, I really do, and I want to call Idaho my home, but right now it’s hard.” She said she is not gay; she is a trans woman. “Believe me when I say that I know you feel threatened by my presence in a restroom, you’ve made that very clear, but I mean no harm. All I know is that nowhere is safe. There’s nowhere I can go.”

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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