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Idaho Republicans Move to Invalidate Anti-Discrimination Laws

Idaho Republican Party Leaders are trying to undo progressive legislation passed by local governments that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to the Raw Story.

The Idaho Republican Party’s resolutions committee passed a resolution Saturday, pressuring the 81-percent Republican state legislature to invalidate multiple local ordinances in the state. Cornel Rasor, the committee’s chair, displayed his personal, limited perspective of the gay community, saying he did not want a gay man coming into work in a tutu, and that he does not want any law to force him to support a gay man’s lifestyle.

“If a guy has a particular predilection and keeps it to himself, that’s fine,” he added. “But if he wants to use my business as a platform for his lifestyle, why should I have to subsidize that? And that’s what these anti-discrimination laws do.”

The Idaho state legislature has continued to permit discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, as it rejected corresponding anti-discrimination laws the past seven years.  

Local governments have passed ordinances to counter the failure of state officials to protect the population in Idaho that falls prey to such discrimination. But the Republican Party Central Committee’s recent resolution demonstrates both a power struggle between Idaho state and local governments and a disconnect between high Republican officials and members of multiple municipal communities. 

Idaho Republican Chairman Barry Peterson said the committee’s resolution allows the state legislature to gauge the demands of the Republican Party and to respond to them, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Peterson also equated preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation to a breach in personal liberty, saying that anti-discrimination laws take away people’s freedom to choose to discriminate.

He said he did not know anyone who had experienced discrimination for his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sources: The Raw Story, Spokesman-Review


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