Chelsea Gaona Lincoln (pictured), of Caldwell, is a behavior therapist and member of Idaho's gay and transgender community. In the column below, she talks of having a face-to-face meeting with state Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, who sponsored a short-lived resolution that called for impeachment of judges who support gay rights:
It’s not everyday an elected official compares you to dregs of history on the floor of the Idaho House. But that’s exactly what Rep. Paul Shepherd (R-Riggins) did to gay and transgender people last month. Speaking in favor of a bill, he equated the gay and transgender community to slave owners, saying we are good people who make terrible decisions. As a gay woman, being disparaged isn’t anything new. But those words were especially hurtful coming from a legislator -- a community leader. Something had to be done. Yet, it had to be done with grace. Being raised on a small dairy farm in rural Wilder, I was taught that grace is an exercise of love, kindness, and goodwill. That’s why I asked Rep. Shepherd to join me for a public forum to discuss the lives of gay and transgender people. I couldn’t stop thinking that he hurt more than me. He hurt an entire community. More here.