Hundreds Turn Out in Support of Add the Words, Idaho

It was a  day filled with action and hope as supporters of a bill that would help end discrimination in Idaho gathered in more than a dozen towns across the state on Saturday.

At a rally in Boise, almost a thousand people turned out to hear from Add the Words, Idaho campaign organizers, state lawmakers and to sign sticky notes.

From Moscow to Twin Falls to Idaho Falls, hundreds more gathered for rallies, vigils and to hold signs with messages geared toward educating their communities about the bill.

Around 30 people attended a vigil in Weiser on Saturday night to ask lawmakers to support the bill.

Just before the rally in Boise, organizers sent out an email announcing that the bill will receive a hearing for introduction in the Senate on February 8th. The  would be a public hearing.

Getting that hearing would be a huge advancement  for the bill, which would add the words,”gender identity and sexual orientation,” to Idaho’s human rights act. For the past six years state lawmakers have ignored supporters requests for the meeting.

Ignoring public support for it this year, however, might be more challenging, if not impossible.  Since the campaign kicked off last fall,  hundreds of sticky notes have been sent in from across the state.  With good turnouts in some of Idaho’s more socially conservative towns like Nampa, Twin Falls and Weiser at the events on Saturday, lawmakers will likely find it harder to ignore so many of their constituents voices.

Around 50 people gether in Twin Falls in support of Add the Words, Idaho on Saturday.

Cody Hafer, a volunteer with the “Add the Words” campaign, told KTVB-TV in Boise on Saturday that the turnout,”feels amazing, It is so supportive.  It is so encouraging.  I have so much hope that this year we are going to get our amendment.  We’re going to add those words and change things.”

In 2007, a BSU public policy survey found that over half of Idahoans believe it shouldn’t be illegal to fire an employee simply because they are gay or transgender.

Visit the Add the Words, Idaho Facebook page for more information or, no matter where you live, you can text your 20 word message to 208 724-1761 or email addthewordssticky@gmail.com.

(Editor’s Note: Several Add the Words volunteers will be helping to raise awareness on Saturday, February 4th in the Burley/Rupert area. They will be meeting with signs and collecting sticky notes at 1:00 pm at the Lex Kunau park in Burley. Feel free to attend if you can make it.-JT)

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One Response to Hundreds Turn Out in Support of Add the Words, Idaho

  1. Chris says:

    What a great turn out in weiser today! It is time for change!

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