A group of 43 protestors were arrested today at the Idaho Capitol after barring Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, from entering the Senate Chambers.
Hill requested they step aside so he could gain access to his desk, but the protestors stood silently with one hand over their mouth, wearing black t-shirts with the slogan “Add the Words, Idaho.”
The “Add the Words” campaign is aimed at adding the phrases “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. The campaign has been fighting for the legislature to add the words for eight years, but has been repeatedly denied a public hearing.
The arrested individuals were processed in a fourth-floor Capitol conference room and were given misdemeanor trespassing citations. The protestors were escorted out of the Capitol, but are allowed to re-enter as long as they don’t disturb further proceedings.
The protest came after proposed legislation by Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise that would allow teachers, medical practitioners and businesses to deny service to people, including gays and lesbians, on the basis of “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
For a full story on the legislation and the protest, read tomorrow’s edition of The Argonaut.