Your Action Needed as LGBT Agenda Hits the Capitol
The 2019 Idaho legislative session is well underway, and Family Policy Alliance of Idaho is working hard to represent your values at the capitol on a host of key issues related to life, religious freedom, education reform and more. There are good things developing, and I’ll have more to report on a variety of bills and issues.
But the biggest issue so far has been a renewed threat to religious freedom.
First, LGBT activists have twice come to the capitol — last week for a rally and this week for a lobby day – demanding passage of an “Add the Words” bill. As you may recall, “Add the Words” is their term for adding civil rights protections based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI).
Around the country, SOGI laws have been the impetus for bathroom privacy issues (allowing men into women’s restrooms and locker rooms) and attacks on small business owners (like cake baker Jack Phillips in Colorado and florist Barronelle Stutzman in Washington State.) The good news is that we should have the votes to stop this attack.
Second – and a cause for greater concern – is that there is also a push by some for a “compromise.” The compromise would consist of giving civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, while giving some exemptions to attempt to protect religious freedom.
While no details have been released, it appears that any bill would be modeled after other proposals, all of which fail to give meaningful protections for religious freedom. For example, churches and clergy may be protected, but not the average citizen or small business owner – the real victims of SOGI laws. The bottom line is that giving civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity is an attack on freedom that no compromise bill is going to adequately mitigate.
Any “compromise” bill that does come forward is likely to be heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee. Will you take a moment to send the Republican members on that committee a note? We’ve made it simple on our Action Center, as you can reach all seven members with just a click.
Thank you for taking action! And it would be very helpful if you would share widely!
Director of Advocacy