Letter: Legislature

March 31, 2014 

Congratulations, Idaho Legislature! With only a three-month 2014 session, the Legislature passed legislation permitting guns on college campuses, protected animal abusing ranchers and killed a bill that would take away legislators' exemption to carry unlicensed concealed weapons. Yet, they couldn't find time for Add the Words. It would take minutes, maybe hours, to add five words to an already existing anti-discrimination bill. Too bad about all that time and money wasted arresting those unruly protesters.

Arizona suffered a media nightmare when its Legislature passed a bill permitting businesses to refuse service to LGBT customers if serving them offended the owner's religious beliefs. Gov. Jan Brewer begrudgingly vetoed the Arizona bill because of enormous pressure from Arizona's business interests … not because it was the right thing to do. Of course, Idaho's refusal to Add the Words amounts to the same thing; it gives businesses permission to discriminate against LGBTs. Our anti-discrimination bill only specifies sex, ethnicity and religion. Not including "sexual orientation and gender identity" leaves the LGBT discrimination door wide open. That makes Idaho a bigot state like Arizona. The legislators need to think about that while they're campaigning for reelection.

TEX BEAUCHAMP, Meridian

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