Can You Hear Us Now? Launch of Idaho’s “Add The Words” Campaign Gets Media’s Attention

After close to six years of trying to persuade state lawmakers to add the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act, this year organizers have launched a statewide campaign they are hoping  will “stick”.

The “Add The Words”  statewide sticky note campaign was launched with a press conference in Boise on Tuesday.  Following the conference, organizers hit the streets, as well as the web, to tell the state about the campaign.

In just one of her many interviews yesterday, Mistie Tolman, the campaign’s lead organizer, told KTVB-in Boise that, “In the past lawmakers told her constituents would not support laws protecting gay and transgendered people. That is why the campaign is encouraging people from every corner of the state to write to their representatives.”

According to the “Add The Words” website, the idea was born out of an effort to go a hearing during last year’s legislative session, “People posted sticky notes on the Senate State Affairs Committee doors asking the Chairman to allow a public hearing on the bill to add the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act.”

“The stickies were a powerful presence, like having voices from all over the state speaking from the committee room doors. Security took the stickies down, but, every day, people put new ones up”

“Last winter, we asked the Idaho legislature to hear us. It seems they didn’t. This year, from every town in Idaho and in every room of the statehouse, we want a sticky note saying it’s time to finally add the words.”

If the kick off media coverage is a good indication of where the campaign is headed, we just might see lawmakers add the words in 2012.  Besides KTVB, the story was picked up by The Associated Press, The Idaho Statesman, The Republic, News Radio 1310 KLIX in Twin Falls and elsewhere.

Organizers say the next step is to continue the momentum garnered on Tuesday and continue to spread the word.

Here’s how the campaign works:

1. WRITE three short messages on sticky post it notes showing legislators that you care about your gay and transgender friends, family, classmates and coworkers. Sign with your name, your town, and something about yourself. Respectfully tell them it is time to Add the Words.

2. If you are able, TAKE A PHOTO of your sticky notes and email the  or just email your Sticky note message at  You can also upload your photo to our Facebook page: Add the Words, Idaho.

 3. Finally, MAIL your sticky notes in envelopes to your two Representatives and one Senator. Click HERE to find yours.

The “Add The Words” campaign chose National Coming Out Day as it’s kickoff to draw attention to the fact that many Idaho citizens could still loose their jobs or homes if they were to revile their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Many around the state used National Coming Out Day events to explain the sticky note campaign to those in attendance.

(Editor’s note: In Twin Falls  about 60 people gathered for a candlelight vigil to mark National Coming out Day. Yours truly took a visual approach to try and explain the “Add The Words” campaign:


2 Responses to Can You Hear Us Now? Launch of Idaho’s “Add The Words” Campaign Gets Media’s Attention

  1. Pingback: Communities Across Idaho Celebrate National Coming Out Day « The Idaho Agenda

  2. Pingback: Report: Children Of LGBT Parents Harmed By Inequality « The Idaho Agenda

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