When President Ronald Reagan made the third Monday in January Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983--15 years after King's 1968 assassination--the holiday was immediately opposed by political figures from across the country, including in Idaho, where MLK Day wasn't enacted as a state holiday until 2006--23 years after passage of the federal holiday, and 38 years after King's death. King and his holiday have been lightning rods of public debate ever since.
In 2013, students, the public and representatives from a diverse set of organizations met at Boise State University and marched on the Capitol Building, calling for marriage and race equality. One of the speakers was Boise State's first openly gay student body president, Ryan Gregg.
"I dream of a time when marriage as recognized by your God is not the same as marriage as recognized by your government," he told the crowd.
Boise State will once again kick off its MLK Day with poster making (materials provided) Monday, Jan. 20 at 8:30 a.m. in the Jordan Ballroom of the Student Union Building, followed by a march on the Capitol starting from campus at 10:30 a.m. with an 11:30 a.m. arrival at the seat of Idaho state politics.
There, participants can hear impassioned pleas for the extension of King's nonviolent and social equality principles to everything from Native American and immigrant rights to the addition of the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Idaho's Human Rights Act.