A bill that would add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity"to the Idaho Human Rights Act has been formally introduced by a 6-1 vote of the House Ways Committee.
After a brief 5 p.m. meeting of the committee, the bill, RS (routing slip) 23324, introduced by House Minority Leader Rep. John Rusche, was cleared for a full hearing expected to take place the week of Monday, Jan. 26.
"This is really a simple bill. ... It's really a question of fairness," Rusche told the House Ways and Means Committee, which is traditionally used to quickly introduce newly proposed legislation.
GOP Rep. Brent Crane cast the only dissenting vote.
Add the Words organizer Lisa Perry said, "We’re looking forward to telling our legislators why these protections would help ensure that people who work hard and meet their responsibilities have the chance to get ahead. We need to Add The Words, nothing more, nothing less.”
Proponents of Add the Words legislation will return to the steps of the Idaho Capitol this Saturday, January 17 at noon to rally their resolve. Among Saturday's expected speakers are new Idaho House Representative Paulette Jordan and soon-to-retire Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson.