LGBT Meeting with Boise officials Draws Good Crowd

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Approximately sixty members of Boise’s LGBT community, friends and supporters gathered at The Community Center in Garden City Wednesday evening to meet the Boise Police Department’s new LGBT liaison and to learn more about the city’s newly enacted anti-discrimination ordinance.

Liaison officer Katie Davey told the crowd she is looking forward to not only working with Boise’s LGBT community but is also networking with other Idaho law enforcement agencies to help them create similar positions in other cities.

BPD created its liaison position approximately six years ago after seeing a rise in hate crime incidents. Davey, who also works as a victim witness coordinator, took over the position about six months ago from long time  community liaison, Janet Lawler.

In a statement to the Idaho Agenda, Davies said the position is another way the Police Department is working to keep every one of its citizens safe, “As a Victim Witness Coordinator and LGBT Liaison for the Boise Police Department, I am excited to take this opportunity to help facilitate communication between the LGBT community and the Boise Police Department.   The Boise Police Department has worked for many years with numerous community groups, to foster pro-active communication and partnerships, with the goal of keeping Boise the ‘ Most Livable City in The Country’.

During an almost hour long panel discussion which was emceed by Boise’s very own blond bombshell, Minerva Jayne, City Council President Maryanne Jordan, Davey and Deputy Police Chief Pete Ritter also took questions regarding the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

The ordinance, which went into affect on New Years Day,  prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in cases of employment, housing and public accommodation.

Many of the audience’s questions had to do with the ordinance’s exemption of religious institutions.  Jordon told the crowd that the measure is very specific on what constitutes a “religious institution.” She explained that the clause does not give the typical landlord or business owner the right to discriminate, “just because of their own personal beliefs”.

Though violation of the ordinance carries a fine of up to $1,000, jail time up to six months, or both, Ritter explained that the city is betting most complaints won’t get that far.

Once attorneys have determined that a violation has occurred, the city will use a mediation process in hopes that the parties involved can reach some sort of amicable agreement. If an agreement can’t be reached, that’s when a criminal penalty will be imposed. Both Jordan and Ritter are confident that most cases will be settled during the mediation stage.

Lion’s Pride Director Donna Harwood, who organized the event, says she feels the meeting was successful. “I feel there’s going to be a real change,the community feels very excited and grateful to the City of Boise for giving us a voice”, Harwood told KTVB-TV during an interview on Wednesday.

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The event was sponsored by the Boise Police Department, Bureau of Community & Environmental Health at Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, The Idaho Agenda, The Community Center and 3 Girls Catering.

LGBTQ liaison officer, Katie Davey, can be reached at 208-570-6224 or kdavey@cityofboise.org. Those who feel they have been a victim of discrimination or have witnessed a violation of the ordinance can call the Boise Police Department  at 208- 570-6000.

The Return of the Idaho Agenda

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Nelson Mandela once wrote,”There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have been altered.”

Returning to the Idaho Agenda feels like home, yet so much has happened in my personal life and in the world at large over the past ten months or so its stories, opinion pieces, and reader comments seem more like an archive of another time and of another place rather then the handful of months since its last publication.

There are many reasons for its extended absence. Without going into a lot of detail, I will say that my life became such that day to day writing, editing and posting became impossible.

Even so, every advancement made in the name of equality in Idaho, every breaking news story and every email asking for the Agenda’s return brought with it the often times unbearable cravings to get to a computer and to feed whatever beast it is that drives a reporter’s addiction to the clicking of a keyboard, the pursuit of the perfect adjective and the desire to fill up an empty screen.

When I first started the Agenda, it was with the idea that  would be a journal of events, news and commentary by and for Idaho’s LGBTQIA community. A year and several months later, I believe that its mission is just as vital today as it was then.

For despite the victories of the past year, there is still work to be done. There are still stories to tell, events that need to be made known and conversations to be had.

There are still people in our beloved state who are afraid to “come out.” There are still whole communities in which fear, loneliness and oppression are still the norm and not the rare occurrence. There are still populations living within our state not yet truly included in our majority’s dreams and conversations of, “equal rights for all”. There are still advances to be made in the areas of health care, marriage, spirituality and a whole host of other needs that come with the idea that we all have the right to, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

It is with that work and with that mission in mind that I renew my dedication to once again providing an outlet for Idaho’s LGBTQIA community.

It is with that mission in  mind that I remind myself and my readers that,”equality IS the agenda.”

May we not rest until the agenda has been achieved.

If you would like to get the word out about your group, event or if you have an opinion on something related to the LGBT community email it to idahoagenda@gmail.com.

Be sure you don’t miss a thing by following us at @idahoageda on Twitter and by “liking” us on Facebook!

Be a part of the Agenda!

Don’t forget, the Idaho Agenda is always looking for your submissions, events and press releases.

Over the past 7 months or so, we have created a nationwide network to help serve the LGBT community in Idaho. Our readership has grown from reaching a dozen or so people a month to almost 15,000 plus!

Now headquartered in Boise, it’s our intent to better serve the community with even more articles, pictures and happenings.

If you would like to get the word out about your group, event or if you have an opinion on something related to the LGBT community email it to idahoagenda@gmail.com.

Be sure you don’t miss a thing by following us at @idahoageda on Twitter and by “liking” us on Facebook!

Get It Seen on the Idaho Agenda!

If you, your business or your organization has an upcoming event and would like Idaho’s LGBTQIA community to know about it email it to idahoagenda@gmail.com and we’ll help you spread the word!

We are also always looking for guest contributors, news tips and interviews of folks who are making an impact on our community. The topic could be about anything from an upcoming  fundraiser you to your take on the presidential campaigns or anything in between.

We can’t pay you in anything but good karma points, but if you have something you’d like to write about just make it between 100-500 words and email it to us at the above website.

You can also help by spreading the word! Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter at @Idahoagenda!

National Journal Raises Questions Reguarding Romney’s Ties to Vandersloot

A columnist for a respected Washington beltway magazine has highlighted Glenn Greenwald’s Salon. com article and is asking some interesting question.

Chris Frates writes for the National Journal. After recapping the media attention Greenwald’s article has garnered thus far, Frates points out that, ‘”the VanderSloot storyline — ultra-wealthy businessman uses his clout to kick around the little guys — only serves to widen the perceived gulf between Romney’s world and the real world, where voters actually live. And unlike owning a couple of Caddies or making a $10,000 bet, Romney would be hard pressed to explain it away as a product of success.”

He goes on to ask the following,”Did he, [Romney], know of VanderSloot’s reported pattern of threatening journalists critical of his interests? Does Romney agree with that response? And does Romney stand by VanderSloot?

Frates says he has posed the questions to a Romney spokeswoman but has thus far received no response.

Click HERE to read the full article.

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