Target: Idaho state legislature
Goal: Stop the invalidation of city ordinance laws that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Idaho Republican Party recently approved a resolution that calls for the state legislature to invalidate any local ordinance laws that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Because the state legislature has repeatedly refused to add protections for sexual orientation to the Idaho Human Rights Act, cities have taken it upon themselves to pass local ordinances extending protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. If the state legislature follows the resolution, the local laws would be voided and the LGBT community in Idaho would be vulnerable to discrimination in jobs and housing.
The thought process behind the resolution appears to be based almost entirely in fear and ignorance. Cornel Rasor, the chair of the state GOP’s resolution committee, claims he would hire a gay man “if he was a good worker,” but not if he came “into work in a tutu.” He goes on to explain, “If a guy has a particular predilection and keeps it to himself, that’s fine. But if he wants to use my business as a platform for his lifestyle, why should I have to subsidize that?” Of course anti-discrimination laws, such as those that already protect race, religion, and disability, do not subsidize anything, let alone a particular “lifestyle.” The laws are in place to ensure that everyone receives equal treatment regardless of society’s ridiculous stereotypes and misconceptions–like gay men want to wear tutus to work, for example–about certain groups of people.
Not only is this resolution discriminatory, but it goes against the will of the people. Six Idaho cities have already passed laws that include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination protections, and the list is growing. Sign the petition below to tell the Idaho state legislature to uphold the city ordinances and protect its citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Dear Idaho state legislature,
Thousands of Americans are at risk of losing their jobs or not getting hired at all. If they do have a job, they face harassment and threats in the workplace. They are also more likely to be denied or ignored when it comes to renting an apartment or buying a home. This group of Americans are forced to deal with these problems not because they are unqualified for a job, unable to pay rent, or because of the poor economy. The unfair treatment they receive is due to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Fortunately, several Idaho cities realize the need to enact laws that protect against such discrimination. They understand that the LGBT members of their communities deserve fair treatment when it comes to housing and the workplace. Some of them even join in the celebration of diversity and acceptance, as demonstrated by the recent Pride Festival in Boise. Others, however, will not accept the facts that discrimination based on sexual orientation is indeed real, and they do not believe that their LGBT neighbors deserve protection against this discrimination.
Some members of this latter group have even gone so far as to pass a resolution that calls for the state legislature to invalidate any local ordinance laws that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. They unreasonably claim that such protections “subsidize” a lifestyle. As lawmakers you of course realize that anti-discrimination laws, such as those that already protect race, religion, and disability, do not subsidize anything, let alone a particular “lifestyle.” The supporters of this resolution are also apparently afraid that if they were to hire a gay man, he would come to work in a tutu.
We demand that Idaho representatives uphold their duty to enact the will of the people and protect their residents from discrimination by disregarding this unjust resolution.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: kencf0618 via Flickr