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As gay Idahoans entered 2015 with the legal right to marry they also brace for that right to be undermined at the nation's highest court. Meanwhile LGBTQ people sought the Idaho legislature's protection from discrimination. The so-called "add the words" movement did not win at the state level, but a larger legal victory sealed the right for all Idahoans--and all Americans--to marry in 2015. LGBTQ people and their supporters prepared to capitalize on that victory in Idaho in 2016.

After 20 Hours Of Testimony, Idaho Panel Set To Vote On Gay Rights Bill

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Jessica Robinson
/
Northwest News Network
A panel in the Idaho House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A panel in the Idaho House is expected to vote Thursday morning on a bill that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Idaho lawmakers heard more than 20 hours of public testimony. Gay people spoke about their experience with discrimination in Idaho. Parents talked about worrying their gay or transgender children would be fired or kicked out apartments.

Lawmakers also heard from people who thought the bill went too far and questioned whether sexual orientation and gender identity should be protected the way race is. The committee is made up of 13 Republicans and 4 Democrats, and it was clear Republicans are very concerned about what the bill could mean for religious business owners.

If the bill passes out of committee it would be heard by the Idaho legislature for the first time.

Oregon and Washington have passed similar anti-discrimination laws.