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Sen. Crapo Says Idaho Should Respect Local Gay Rights Laws

US Senate
US Senator Mike Crapo

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted this week against a federal ban on workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people. But Tuesday he said Idaho cities should be able to maintain their local gay rights ordinances.

The Republican from Idaho Falls said it should be a matter for states to take up -- and cities, if they want to.

“I tend to believe that just as the federal government should honor the rights of states, states should honor the rights of cities in those areas where there is not some kind of a compelling interest,” Crapo said in a conference call with reporters.

That puts him at odds with a resolution passed last summer by the Idaho Republican Party central committee. It urges the 2014 Idaho legislature to invalidate the local gay rights measures.

City councils have passed an anti-discrimination rule in some form in Sandpoint, Boise, Moscow, Ketchum, Coeur d'Alene, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Opponents in Pocatello have collected enough signatures to put the ordinance to a citywide vote next spring.