once again it’s time to speak up for a crucial amendment to idaho’s human rights act (IHRA). IHRA laws prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodation, and it includes protections for race, creed, religion, sex, age, disability and national origin. there’s nothing in the legislation to protect LGBTQI citizens. here in idaho you can still be fired for being gay. you can be denied housing or refused admission to college if the wrong person even perceives you as being transgender.
we need to add the words “sexual orientation & gender identity” to the IHRA. it blows my mind that anyone would publicly oppose this or vote against it, and yet this amendment has been unsuccessfully attempted every year for about six years. it’s important to keep trying.
the idaho legislature is back in session tomorrow (jan. 9) and volunteers with “add the words” will hang supportive sticky note messages sent in from people all over the state. this site provides information on where to send your sticky notes--if you're lazy you can even text or email a 20-word message and a volunteer will put it on stickies for you. (click here to see a huge compilation of wonderful sticky note photos.) also sign the petition here. there will be statewide public demonstrations held saturday, january 28.
i remember a year or two ago i saw these sticky notes covering a door and windows inside the capitol building. all the notes had moving messages in support of the amendment. the beauty and power of the display made me cry.
even if the legislation doesn’t change, it’s a great time to show our numbers and make idaho residents and lawmakers give some thought to LGBTQI rights. this is how progress happens. eventually.