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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘Imagine if Rosa Parks got off the bus to find another’

More from today’s HB 2 testimony:

Gretchen Bates said, “Imagine if Rosa Parks got off the bus to find another.” Things wouldn’t have changed, she said. “Religious liberty must have limits when it hurts someone else.” Breaking into tears, she said, “A few years ago my best friend's son and his transgender partner jumped ... off the Perrine Bridge. ... I cannot imagine the sadness and hopelessness that they must have felt. … Me, tell gay and transgender people just to go away? … Matt and Amy believed that they had nowhere to go, so they chose the escape of death. … Your support of HB 2 will create an environment where young people feel valued, accepted, safe and welcome. I’m 68 years old and I am so proud to stand with all of these brave young people here. I’ve never been that brave. Thank you.”

Stefan Cavin told the lawmakers that as a College of Idaho freshman looking for a part-time job, he was rejected for one waiting tables after he truthfully answered a question about his sexual orientation. He was attacked and beaten in Boise by attackers shouting anti-gay epithets and didn’t report it to police out of fear; Cavin said he regretted that decision later after letting getting to know Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson. “All I’m asking is to be judged by my qualifications, my character, my performance,” Cavin said, urging the panel to pass the bill. “This is my time of need. I need you to stand with me.”

So far this morning, 35 people have testified, just two opposing the bill and one neutral; all the rest spoke in favor. There have been tears, laughter, and many deeply personal stories shared.

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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