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Idaho GOP move to define marriage to exclude transgenders

Measure: Bond is between ‘naturally born’ man and woman

Associated Press
Idaho doesn’t recognize gay or lesbian marriage, but some Republicans want the state to go a step further. A panel of GOP delegates at the state party’s convention passed a measure Friday to define marriage as a bond between a “naturally born” man and woman, effectively barring transgenders. Bannock County delegate Ralph Lilling says his amendment to the state party’s platform will help further protect the traditional family unit. But Donna Montgomery, a delegate from Kootenai County, argued that the additional language was unnecessary because people from Idaho understand man is a man and a woman is a woman. The measure still has to go before the full convention for approval.
Idaho GOP panel supports repeal of 17th amendment
Republicans from across Idaho took aim at the 17th amendment during their state convention, calling for repeal of the measure. A GOP committee narrowly passed a measure Friday to include language in the state party’s platform that seeks to nullify the amendment created a century ago to shift election of U.S. senators from state legislatures to voters. Supporters of the measure say making senators accountable to legislators instead of voters will restore the constitution’s checks and balances. Sen. Jeff Siddoway, a Terreton Republican, joined more than a dozen other delegates in voting against the proposal, saying it takes voters out of the equation. Siddoway told delegates: “You’re giving up your right to vote for people who are representing you in Washington, D.C.”
Delegates leery of medical marijuana push
Idaho Republican convention delegates snuffed out a resolution supporting legalization of medical marijuana. Foes at the Idaho state GOP convention in Idaho Falls said Friday that encouraging such a plan would put the Republican Party at the forefront of a radical agenda and expose the party to accusations it’s a radical organization. Rep. Tom Trail, a Republican from Moscow, is trying to get Idaho in line with states like Colorado and California that are easing restrictions on marijuana as long as it’s used medically to treat chronic pain or debilitating diseases. But among traditional Idaho Republicans, there is still deep concern that relaxing restrictions would encourage illegal drug use. Failure of the resolution is a bad sign for Trail’s efforts in the 2011 Legislature.
GOP panel says Idaho needs to form state militia
Could Idaho get an all-volunteer state militia that’s out from under any federal control? A Butte County delegate to the state Republican Party convention in Idaho Falls on Friday got his compatriots on a committee to go along with the plan — at least on paper. The idea must still win full convention approval Saturday. Butte County delegate Guy Mongan says such a force could assist in the event of natural disasters and wouldn’t be subject to a military call-up, such like the Idaho National Guard. Ada County delegate Phil Hardy says he appreciates the notion that Idaho could be left unprotected if many of its citizen soldiers are dispatched to defend the nation. But Hardy contends the time isn’t ripe for the plan. The measure cleared the committee on a 21-18 vote.
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