Letter: 'Add the Words'

March 22, 2014 

The state Senate needs to follow the example of the state House of Representatives. The Senate is bedeviled with "Add the Words" protesters because for eight years the Senate has refused to hold a committee hearing on the proposal to add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the state Human Rights Act. The House properly scheduled a hearing on Rep. Lynn Luker's bills having to do with "religious freedom," that were very poor law in my opinion, but bills that were proposed by one of their members and were important to a small but real part of the state's population. Ultimately those bills were pulled back for rewriting. While neither side felt totally "satisfied," both sides felt "heard." The House of Representatives has gone on doing business undisturbed while the Senate never knows from day to day when the Add the Words people will show up.

How long do they plan to wait? Ten years? Twelve? If the Senate is refusing to schedule the proper hearing on this, what other state issues will they refuse to deal with? The Senate needs to hold the hearing they are legally bound to hold.

Janelle Wintersteen, Boise

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