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

Jan 29, 2015

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.