Add the Words Protesters Sentenced

by

Many of the protesters and their supporters waited to enter the courtroom July 21, practicing their testimonies in the hallway. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Many of the protesters and their supporters waited to enter the courtroom July 21, practicing their testimonies in the hallway.


CORRECTION: The judge overseeing Monday's sentencing was Michael Oths, not Thomas Watkins.

The courtroom of 4th District Magistrate Judge Thomas Watkins Michael Oths was packed with over 100 people on the afternoon of July 21, as the last 23 protesters from the Add the Words campaign received their sentences after being arrested back in February when they stood in the Capitol, blocking doors silently.

Their goal was to get lawmakers to hold a public hearing and pass a law that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the Idaho Human Rights Act. That would make it illegal for landlords, employers and businesses to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Each protester was charged with the misdemeanor of trespassing, most with plea agreements already worked out. As of 5 p.m. on Monday, each of the protesters who went before the judge pleaded guilty to their sentencing—about half of those scheduled to go before the judge.

Nicole LeFavour, one of the most prominent protesters of the group, was sentenced first. She pleaded guilty to two counts of trespassing and was sentenced to 70 hours of community service, $70 in fines and court fees.

"I did what I had to do," LeFavour told Boise Weekly. "We knew what we were doing. It was up to [the lawmakers] to listen to us and instead they chose to have us arrested."

Other noteworthy protesters sentenced in today’s hearing included Rabbi Daniel Fink, Add the Words co-chair Emilie Jackson-Edney, and U.S Navy veteran Madelynn Taylor—who Boise Weekly readers first met in April when she told the story of how her request to be interred with with late wife at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery had been rejected.