Just when I thought there would be nothing to write about in my Editor's Note this week, the Idaho Legislature went and did not one but two cringe-worthy things.
On Feb. 9, after a full afternoon of testimony from Idahoans who described themselves as dyed-in-the-wool, lifelong Republicans who were neither environmentalists nor "one of those green people," the House Resources and Conservation Committee voted unanimously to strip local authority of control over gas drilling permits. In other words: Republican lawmakers completely dismissed the pleas of Republican citizens, as well as those of some county officials, and decided that the state should have final say-so over who gets to drill where because counties do not have the expertise to deal with gas drilling. You know, because the state, which formally adopted guidelines on drilling only days ago, has so much experience in that area itself. Ironically, these are the same conservative lawmakers who don't want the federal government giving them marching orders--not on health care or the environment. Do as I say and not as I do?
Bright and early the very next day, the Senate State Affairs Committee, once again, voted to reject a bill that would amend the Idaho Human Rights Act to include discrimination protections for gender identity and sexual orientation (Page 11). Though the Add the Words campaign provided the most organized and high-profile effort to date to urge lawmakers to support the amendment, I don't think anyone was surprised by the outcome. I hope that at some point, Idaho lawmakers are actually going to have to let the proposal at least get out of committee, but until then, I propose we start firing straight people en masse. And while we're at it, let's start firing anyone who claims one gender or the other.
Hell, we'll start right here at Boise Weekly. Dear editorial department: I regret to inform you that as you are all--presumably--sexually active, you're fired. I don't care who or what you have sex with--man, woman, goat, high-priced doll--you are dismissed. And just to cover all my bases in case the Idaho definition of sexually active doesn't describe how infrequently you hump whatever it is you hump, you're all fired for laying claim to a gender through name, appearance and dress. Lipstick and high heels are verboten. No more dresses or ties. All facial hair is banned. Because I can, I will hire only asexual, androgynous worker bees to replace you. Don't like it? Report me to the Idaho Human Rights Commission.