Idaho votes to drop homosexual rights law

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Idaho has called timeout on a measure that would have given special rights to homosexuals and transgendered individuals.

The Idaho House had been considering a bill that would add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the state’s anti-discrimination law. But according to Alliance Defending Freedom, it would have threatened First Amendment rights and freedoms of others, while exposing the state to possible legal action. ADF provided written and oral testimony before the House State Affairs Committee suggesting the government should respect every American's freedom of speech and religion.

Alliance Defending Freedom

ADF attorney Ken Connelly explains that the bill didn't include sufficient religious or conscience protections. Similar laws in other states have demonstrated those shortcomings.

“Laws like these, despite the anti-discrimination rhetoric, are not designed for the benign purpose of ensuring that all people receive basic services and equal treatment,” he says.

“Their practical effect, as has been demonstrated across the country, is to legally compel people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs to accept, express and promote messages, ideas and events that violate their deepest convictions.”

The committee heard 20 hours of testimony from Idaho citizens and national experts and received numerous emails and phone calls at representatives' offices. In addition to the problem for religious freedom, other concerns involved the safety and privacy of women and children if public restrooms were opened to members of the opposite sex.

The end result was that the committee voted 13-4 to reject the bill.

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