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Former Idaho GOP governor: Add human rights protections for gays

Sunday, November 3, 2013

BOISE, Idaho — A former Idaho Republican governor says it’s time the Legislature updated the state Human Rights Act to include housing and job discrimination protections for gays, lesbians and transgender individuals.

Phil Batt

Phil Batt

Former Gov. Phil Batt made the comments this week when he was honored with the Idaho Human Rights Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Human Rights Commission in Caldwell.

Batt, who as a lawmaker in 1960 helped establish the Human Rights Commission, is the first recipient of the award.

At the ceremony last week, Batt said it makes no sense not to extend protections to gays and lesbians.

He says they shouldn’t have to fear discrimination when seeking somewhere to live, a hotel room or a job.

Idaho’s Republican lawmakers have repeatedly refused to expand the state’s Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identitymost recently during a 2012 Senate committee hearing — prompting several local municipalities to enact their own laws.

To date, seven Idaho cities have adopted LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances: Boise, Sandpoint, Ketchum, Moscow, Coeur d’Alene, Pocatello and Idaho Falls.

The Pocatello ordinance faces a May 2104 ballot referendum.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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17 more reader comments:

  1. Amazing. Thank you.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:45am
  2. Way to go

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:46am
  3. Way to go

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:47am
  4. Wow Great news!

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:48am
  5. Its about time

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:48am
  6. Something positive:)

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:54am
  7. So does he or does he not specifically include trans people in what he said?

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:59am
  8. GOOD

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 1:07am
  9. He does, as far as I can tell. There was a time when the Republican party in the US was the progressive/civil rights party, and he appears to be from that era.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 1:19am
  10. Gov. Batt has the right idea to update the Human Rights Act to include housing and job security for gays and lesbians.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 1:43am
  11. it’s time.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 2:30am
  12. He looks as if he could be Dave Thomas’s brother.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 2:52am
  13. there is one gop i like, amazing!!

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 3:08am
  14. BRAVO

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 4:27am
  15. What a nice guy , we need more people like wonderful man. He is a wonderful role model for the Republican Party could learn a few things from him.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:25am
  16. Good! `Thank you.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 10:10am
  17. Well this is gay

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 1:42pm