Riggins Republican Rep. Paul Shepherd is being asked to sit down with members of the LGBT community to discuss the issue of being gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender in Idaho. In fact, members of Better Idaho hand-delivered an invitation to Shepherd at the Idaho Statehouse on Thursday.
"We realize you have some very strong opinions regarding the LGBT community, and it would be helpful to us if we could more fully understand those opinions. We also think a forum may help alleviate some of your fears of the LGBT community," said the invitation.
Earlier this month, Shepherd introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of any federal judge who sides with same-sex marriage.
"We would like to have a forum with LGBT citizens in Idaho to alleviate some of your concerns and some of theirs, just given all the vitriol that's happened recently," said Better Idaho's Jordan Brady when she handed the invitation to Shepherd. "Do you think you'll be able to attend?"
Shepherd responded, "I don't know yet, I just...I haven't gotten to read the whole thing." Shepherd asked for another copy of the invitation and took off, saying "I'll let you know."
Meanwhile, it turns out that Dylan Hailey, an Idaho college student, has purchased Shepherd's former website, paulshepherdusa.com
and given it a makeover, including a rainbow flag behind Shepherd's photo and advocacy for LGBT protections.
"Several articies stated this site was hacked; it was not," said the website. "The domain went up for renewal and Paul Shepherd didn't pay the bill, so the domain went back on the market and we just had lucky timing and purchased it before he noticed his domain had expired. We legally own the website now."
The site has since been linked to Reddit.
"Yes, we do need to take a stand, against bigots who discriminate against people they disagree with or don't like, just like what Paul Shepherd is doing to the LGBT community," wrote Hailey on the website.
Meanwhile, Shepherd offered a bizarre reference to slavery when asked about the website takeover by Idaho Reports.
“Slave owners were very good Christians and good people,” Shepherd told Idaho Reports
. "They [slave owners] weren't terrible, horrible, rotten people—just people who made terrible decisions. And that's how I see gay people."