Best Courtroom Drama

Gay marriage ruling / Add the Words sentencing

Staff Pick

The words added up to sentences when more than 190 arrests took place in February 2014 during demonstrations by Add the Words advocates who want to see the words "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" added to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Adding the words would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination by landlords, business owners and employers. In July, each of those arrested in the Statehouse were charged with trespassing and sentenced to community service. Despite this being the ninth year of protests, the Idaho legislative session came and went without so much as a public hearing to add the words. Maybe next year. Or the year after that. Or the year after that. In another courtroom drama, Idaho inched closer to joining progressive states in legalizing same-sex marriage--after four lesbian couples sued the state for the right to marry and won--but Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter quickly asked for a temporary stay and appealed the ruling. Otter is prepared to spend $1 million to defend the Idaho gay-marriage ban, which, after a hearing in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in September, might go all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.

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