MOSCOW, LEWISTON SHOULD FOLLOW BOISES LEAD
Our take: Boises proposed ordinance to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is fundamentally fair, simple and straightforward. It deserves the City Councils support this week.
Last year, Sandpoint became the first Idaho city to outlaw discrimination against gays, bisexuals and transgender people. Boise is poised to become the second. A final vote is set for Tuesday.
More than 125 cities in the United States among them are a dozen in Oregon and another 15 in Utah have extended human rights protections to this community. They are exercising their right to build upon the foundation of civil rights constructed at the federal and state levels.
What about Lewiston?
Wouldnt a town steeped in Idahos traditions of independence want to be at the vanguard of protecting human dignity?
Home of the University of Idaho, it prides itself on being an inclusive, diverse place.
Because this is how progress will take form in Idaho cities acting on their own to extend the fabric of civil rights in the Gem State.
Dont expect Idahos ideologically sclerotic Legislature to take up this cause. These politicians inserted into Idahos Constitution a permanent ban upon same-sex marriage. They also cant even consider adding gay and transgender people to the umbrella of Idahos Human Rights Law, which already extends to everyone else.
For the better part of a decade, the GOP legislative majority has blocked every attempt to even discuss this idea in a public hearing. Earlier this year, Senate State Affairs Committee Chairman Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, declined to print a bill.
If I don't think its going to get a majority to get all the way through the process to the governors desk, I dont have a hearing on it, he said.
So Idaho sits by while a gay man loses his job for no other reason than his boss doesnt like gay people. It looks away while a lesbian couple is refused an apartment because the landlord said so.
Except in Sandpoint.
Except, soon, in Boise.
Post Register, Idaho Falls
Æ Jeers to the 6,300 Idahoans so disgusted by the results of the Nov. 6 presidential election that they want to secede from the union. You know who you are and you ought to be ashamed.
How does this do anything but widen the partisan gap preventing Americans from tackling the problems facing our nation?
Æ Jeers to Gov. Butch Otter. At his Capitol for a Day event in Aberdeen, Otter touted that Idaho spends half its general fund budget on education. ... Ill tell you, we are better off than the rest of the country," he said.
Really? Only Utah spends less per pupil. Over the past decade, Idaho has seen a steep decline in the percentage of personal income spent on schools. The state is being sued for violating its constitutional obligation to provide free schools with the litany of fees every parent now recognizes as the norm. And state spending on schools has been hacked so deeply that many patrons have increased their own property taxes to keep the lights on. Better off than the rest of the country? Hardly.
Æ Jeers to Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, who used her Twitter account to circulate an article written by a Tennessee tea partier. The idea expressed would, in theory at least, change the Nov. 6 presidential election result. The article Nuxoll passed to her followers calls on states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the Electoral College. The belief is that would deny the college a quorum and throw the election into the GOP-held House of Representatives, thereby putting Romney in the White House. One can argue thats treason. Certainly its naive. No less a constitutional scholar than Idaho Falls David Adler called the idea forwarded by Nuxoll really a strange and bizarre fantasy.
But those logistics arent the point. What matters is that Idaho has a state senator, one of 35, willing to at least entertain the idea of throwing the country into chaos because she didnt get her way on Election Day.