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Idaho Activists Not Backing Down

Idaho Activists Not Backing Down

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After what many local activists called a heartbreaking loss in Idaho, the Twin Falls Times-News reports that fight will go on even after the Senate State Affairs Committee nixed legislation that would've added LGBT protections to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

"I was honestly heartbroken at first, and then i slowly moved to being quite angry, and now I'm kind of just determined to keep fighting for the rest of the legislative session," Cody Hafer, a statewide coordinator of the Add the Words campaign, told the Times-News's Natalie Dicou. The paper reports that activists have pledged to fight to add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the state's rights act until either a bill is printed or the legislative session ends. Lesbian state Senator Nicole LeFavour, a Democrat from Boise, tried earlier this month to add the words as an amendment to an unrelated bill, but that too failed to pass muster in the increasingly conservative state senate.

The Add the Words campaigners, many of them young up-and-coming activists like Hafer and Mistie Tolman, the group's spokesperson, have held vigils in 13 different cities in the sparsely populated state, and Tolman told the Times-News that the silent protests at the state capital will continue to be held two to three times a week until the campaign is a success.

A sign of the increasing visibility and power of Idaho's LGBT community, Tolman and Hafer say they are seeing plenty of public support.

"We feel this is way too important of an issue to back down and not keep fighting," Tolman told Dicou. "The outpouring of public support on this issue is bigger than we've ever seen it. We feel like it's moving at lightning speed and really slowly at the same time."

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Diane Anderson-Minshall

Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.
Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.