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'Sticky Situation' at the Statehouse This Year?

January 9, 2012

BOISE, Idaho - A "sticky situation" is guaranteed to arise at the Idaho Statehouse this year, as volunteers are standing by with hundreds of sticky notes to post on doors. The notes ask that Idaho's Human Rights Law be updated to include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The notes are part of the "Add the Words" campaign.

Campaign spokeswoman Mistie Tolman says they've been gathering notes from around the state, representing every legislative district.

"This year, we've had a huge response across the state, and I don't see how they can ignore so many of their constituents."

Tolman says the notes will be placed on the House and Senate Chamber doors. A similar campaign last year targeted the Senate State Affairs Committee, where a bill to update the law was introduced.

Bills to add to the list of state discrimination protections have been introduced for several years, but Tolman is optimistic that this is the year the bill will be successful, with persistence paying off.

"We've gone for six years trying to get a bill passed and in those six years, they've not so much as even given us a public hearing on it."

Tolman says a recent poll showed 63 percent of Idahoans think it should be illegal to fire someone based on that person's sexual orientation. The state's Human Rights Law currently provides protection from discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin and disability.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID