Moscow Advances Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Moscow, Idaho

The city of Moscow, Idaho may soon become the fourth city in Idaho to ban discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. During a meeting Monday night the Moscow City Council Administrative Committee voted 3-0 to send the ordinance onto the full city council with a “do pass” recommendation.

That’s the same committee that sent the ordinance back last month for what Moscow City Councilman Tom Lamar described as “review and input.” According to Jim Huggins, head of GetEQUAL Idaho, the council is expected to take the ordinance up during its meeting on April 1st.

The ordinance, which would prohibit discrimination in areas of housing and employment based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is a collaboration between the Human Rights Commission and the Fair and Affordable Housing Commission.

Huggins says he expects the Moscow measure will pass the council. If passed, Moscow would join Sandpoint, Boise, and Ketchum in banning LGBT discrimination within city limits. There is speculation that Idaho Falls and Pocatello may be the next cities to take up the matter. Leaders in both towns have previously expressed interest in the idea. Even so, that still leaves about one-sixth of the state’s population unprotected by any sort of sexual orientation or gender identity anti-discrimination ordinance or law. For the seventh year in a row, the Idaho Legislature declined to consider a  similar statewide measure.

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Watch: Andrew Sullivan takes on Idaho lunatic Doug Wilson

sully

Doug Wilson is not just your average Idaho fundamentalist preacher. As a lunatic extremist, he’s the kind of  pastor and theologian your mother should have warned you about.

According to Joseph L. Conn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State,“Wilson is better known in Idaho for his advocacy of outlandish religious and political viewpoints. His “firm foundation” seems to be Christian Reconstructionism, the extreme Religious Right theo-political movement that seeks to take “dominion” over America, scrap democracy and impose biblical law.”

In a interview with Christianity Today, Wilson told the reporter, when asked if he would execute those who identify as gay,”You can’t apply Scripture woodenly. You might exile some homosexuals, depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim. There are circumstances where I’d be in favor of execution for adultery…. I’m not proposing legislation. All I’m doing is refusing to apologize for certain parts of the Bible.”

Wilson believes crap like “gay jokes are a tool of the cultural wars”. He writes “Gay jokes depend on sexual generalizations, and as such, they are an essential part of our defense of the way God made the sexual world.”

Wilson is also a rape apologist, blaming egalitarianism for the presence of rape and sexual violence, and he certainly shook things up when he “partly plagiarized booklet defending Old South slavery as a “life of plenty.”

Oh, and he’s also a genius at drawing the church’s spotlight unto himself. In  recent years he has “bravely” taken on several noted “cultural miscreants” in highly publicized debates.  Wilson has made a name for himself as of late by tying himself to the likes of famed atheist Christopher Hutchins and others.

His latest “LOOK AT ME TAKING ON THE COOL KIDS” debate was held last week in Moscow.  This time Wilson was sharing his spotlight with non-other than  gay conservative blogger, writer and commentator Andrew Sullivan. The question? “Is civil marriage for gay couples good for society?”

Expect the book and video series to be available at your local christian bookstore soon.

Watch Sully destroy Wilson’s insane ramblings below:

Moscow’s Anti-discrimination Ordinance sent back for Revisions

Moscow, Idaho

The Moscow Administrative Council voted Monday night to send a proposed ordinance prohibiting LGBT discrimination back to the two committees responsible for crafting it.

The ordinance, which would prohibit discrimination in areas of housing and employment based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is a collaboration between the Human Rights Commission and the Fair and Affordable Housing Commission.

City Attorney Randy Fife drafted the ordinance and presented it to the City of Moscow Administrative Committee on Monday night.

Jim Huggins, head of GetEQUAL Idaho, attended the meeting. He reports Fair and Affordable Housing Commission’s Ken Nagy told the committee that in some cases discrimination in housing is necessary, based on past rental history etc. but that it’s wrong to discriminate, “just because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity”. According to Huggins, Nagy’s was the only testimony taken during the meeting.

According to Moscow City Councilman Tom Lamar,”The City administrative committee action of sending it forward to the two citizen commissions was not so much for edits, but rather asking for review and input. There were no edits or modification requested by the Council Committee.”

The draft will be presented for a public hearing sometime in March or April. Following the hearing, it will return to the Administrative Committee, who will then decide whether or not to pass it on to the full city council. Huggins speculates that if all goes well, the ordinance should be in front of the city council sometime in May.

If passed, Moscow would join Sandpoint, Boise, and Ketchum in banning LGBT discrimination within city limits. There is speculation that Idaho Falls and Pocatello may be the next cities to take up the matter. Leaders in both towns have previously expressed interest in the idea.

For the seventh time in as many years, Idaho lawmakers will once again be asked to amend the state’s Human Rights Act to include the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” on a state-wide level.

Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, (D) Boise, says that she’s prepared to sponsor the measure this session. The language of the bill would be similar to last year’s proposed amendment, with a few minor changes.

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)

Statewide Day of Action Planned Urging Idaho Lawmakers to End LGBTQIA Discrimination

Add the Words, Idaho volunteers are hoping for a record turn out at events scheduled across the state this weekend to help send a message to Idaho lawmakers that it’s time to amend Idaho’s human rights law.

Currently, state law allows for employers and others to discriminate against a LGBTQIA individual simply for being who they are. Because of fears of losing employment, housing or other basic rights the straight community takes for granted, many in Idaho are forced to stay in the closet rather than being able to come out and live their lives.

In 2007 the BSU public policy survey found in its statewide poll that 63 percent of Idahoans believe it should be illegal to fire an employee because they are gay.

The Add the Words, Idaho campaign, which kicked off in October, has been gathering hundreds of sticky notes and messages from around the state, urging the legislature to give members of the LGBTQIA community equal status.

Since 2006, members of the community have been pushing for the amendment and despite bipartisan support for the legislation, some lawmakers have felt that there wasn’t enough support among Idaho voters to give the bill a hearing.

Volunteers say that this year, through the sticky notes and hundreds of messages that have been sent to state lawmakers, supporters voices will be difficult,  if not impossible, to ignore.

“This year has been different from other years because of the level of public support for the issue,” said Mistie Tolman, spokesperson for add the words. “Events in places like the ones taking place this Saturday are powerful. They reinforce the over 400 sticky note message from 50 towns around the state that we have received so far this winter. It’s critical for community members and law makers to have this dialog. It’s the hope of thousands of us across the state that law makers will give the legislation serious consideration this time.”

In addition to emails and social media outlets, Add the Words, Idaho has produced radio spots that are currently airing in strategic locations across the state. Click HERE to listen to an Add The Words, Ad airing on a station near you!

Here is a schedule of planned events for this Saturday:

BOISE:

Rally at the State Capitol Steps
1:00-2:00 PM This year’s speakers include Cherie Buckner-Webb, Doug Flanders, Marisol Cervantes (GSA President, Borah High), Rochelle Smith and Drew Weston and Common Ground is performing! Co-Emcees Comedian Matt Bragg & Add the Words, Idaho spokeswoman Mistie Tolman!

IDAHO FALLS:

Rally with signs and hot cocoa.
Elizabeth Cogliati & Rev. Lyn Cameron Rally.
Broadway Bridge (East-West route crossing the Snake River in the center of town adjacent to the Green Belt and parking.)
12:00-1:00 PM

TWIN FALLS:

Come to the  Twin falls County courthouse lawn (from 1:00 – 2:00 pm) and send a strong and positive message saying it’s time the legislature included our gay & transgender friends in Idaho’s Human Rights Act!

We will have stories from those who have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and or gender identity, signs asking the Magic Valley to Add the Words, coffee, cider and hot chocolate.

Twin Falls County Courthouse (427 Shoshone Street N. Twin Falls, Idaho 83301)  1:00-2:00 pm

LEWISTON:

Sticky Note writing and Vigil
Sticky note photos followed by a daylight vigil Lewis-Clark State College SUB Room 225 (500 8th Avenue) (Starting in SUB, ending in amphitheater.)
10:30-11:30 AM

PLUMMER:

Sticky Note writing and Vigil
Co-sponsored w/ Benewah Human Rights Coalition
Plummer Community Center & Park (5th and C Street) (Starting in Community Center, ending in park.)
2:00-3:30 PM

NAMPA:

Candle Light vigil
The Fountain at 2nd St. South and 12th Ave
6:00-7:00 PM

CALDWELL: 

Rally with Speakers on the College of Idaho Campus (2112 Cleveland Blvd. Caldwell, ID 83605) (Right on Cleveland Blvd. in front of college.)
11:00 AM-12:00 PM

COEUR D’ALENE:

Vigil and Sticky Note Writing
Human Rights & Education Institute
6:00 PM

MOSCOW:

Gathering for a Presentation on the Human Rights Act and Sticky Note Writing
1912 Center St
11:00 AM

POCATELLO:

Candlelight Vigil
Bannock County Courthouse (624 East Center St.)
6:00-7:00 PM

 

 

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.

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