What Are We Thankful For?
BY Advocate.com Editors
November 27 2013 7:15 AM ET
Idaho Pleasantly Surprises Me
I left Idaho, my home, in 1986, fleeing with all the other queer and trans kids to cities where being different was OK. But like many of them, I’ve always looked back, a longing for the state I love and the people I left behind, always hoping they’d get on board with LGBT rights, or at least acceptance. So I was über-thankful this year when numerous things shook up the LGBT world in Idaho. Four lesbian couples sued the state for the right to marry with the help of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, several cities (not all areas you'd expect) passed antidiscrimination ordinances, and the Add the Words campaign — a polite yet fierce eight-year battle to get the state legislature to add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to our state’s Human Rights Act — got a huge boost when one of our most beloved political leaders threw his support our way. When former Republican governor Phil Batt, one of the state’s most popular politicians in the last century, became the first recipient of the Idaho Human Rights Lifetime Achievement Award (given by the Human Rights Commission in Caldwell, Idaho), he told the crowd, “A homosexual who can’t rent a room or get a job because of his orientation doesn’t make any sense to anybody. Why some of the politicians are not more sensitive than that — more sensible, I should say than that — beats me.” He added that the legislature’s refusal to amend the Human Rights Act, which Batt originally authored, “accomplished absolutely nothing … except to be made to look like fools.” You go, Phil, and all my Gem State friends for fighting the good fight. —Diane Anderson-Minshall
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