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Anti-Motorcyclist Profiling Bill Sparks Wider Debate at Idaho Statehouse

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KELSEY HAWES
  • Kelsey Hawes
A bill currently making its way through the Idaho Legislature that would protect motorcyclists from profiling by law enforcement has inspired a broader debate from one Treasure Valley lawmaker.

Rep. John McCrostie (D-Garden City) used discussion of House Bill 123 as an opportunity to advocate for anti-profiling legislation for more Idahoans—particularly the LGBTQ community—but was cautioned by Republican leadership to stay on topic.

HB 123 would amend the Idaho Human Rights Act by stating that profiling motorcycle riders is illegal. Meanwhile, McCrostie argued, “No one should ever be profiled, not because they’re LGBT, not because of their religion and not because they’re bikers. We should add those words.”

McCrostie was quickly shut down during the Feb. 27 debate by House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley), who warned the legislator to limit his comments to the scope of the bill.

“My interpretation of what took place on the floor was a reminder to keep the topic germane to the topic at hand, and I believe I had done that,” McCrostie later told Boise Weekly.

Idaho civil rights advocates have been fighting for years to get the four words "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" included in the Idaho Human Rights Act.

“We need to update the Idaho Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity,” said McCrostie. “There is certainly a need for the community to be protected at times when they might not necessarily present in a way that conforms to gender norms.”

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