Friends, Former Colleagues,
I no longer serve with you, but I’d like to say a few words. You, of the Idaho House and Senate, I think you know in your hearts, you still have work to do.
I never was allowed the privilege of bringing a bill to “add the words” to the floor of the house or senate. I'd like to you to hear what I would have said had i been granted that dignity. I can not do justice to all the lives affected. There is so much you will hear when you finally listen to the stories of gay people, your sons and daughters, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and silent friends.
First, despair takes far too many of young people. It never should. Please consider the loneliness of a young person who has been rejected by their parents, then their church, even their friends. Too many stand over sinks with razors or knives alone, because no one stood to protect them when the world grew cruel.
You may feel this matter is not a place for policy but for church or family. But what of when one or both fail good people? Should any one of God's beautiful young creations feel they are unworthy of life? What if this were your child?
There is sometimes folly in religions when they need to find demons from among us. Every century, every decade has had them. And politics takes them up because what church preaches is powerful. It motivates action and votes. But at the expense of lives? So people we love live in fear of meeting a baseball bat in a parking lot or alley?
I know none of you wish harm on anyone. Tragically though, this legislature’s failure to act is the same as an endorsement of the violence, a nod to the unworthiness people feel when they live in fear and no one will stand for them. In the far, most rural parts of Idaho it can be the hardest. What if this were your child? Your sister or brother?
Politics and political parties are not your highest obligation as law makers or as citizens of this beautiful state. Your highest obligation is to protect lives, to ensure freedom, liberty and life.
Please. This is so simple. Idaho already has laws that decry cruelty on the basis of chosen religion, race, disability, national origin, age over 40 and gender. Every business in Idaho operates within these laws and has for decades. The laws mediate and protect businesses and as much as alleged victims. They allow penalization only for blatant, intentional, systematic acts of cruelty; the kind trampling of a person’s liberty that we all feel civilized societies can not function with or tolerate. It is very simple to include gay and transgender people, my people, me, within these existing public safety statutes.
Please, understand lives will be lost quietly each year, each month, you do not to act, each day that more of us despair.
Thank you for reading this. Please put conscience before politics. With respect.
Former Senator Nicole LeFavour
Box 775 Boise, Idaho 83701
208 724-0468 • firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. This bill is so simple. Just insert four words “sexual orientation, gender identity” within the Idaho Human Rights Act which is the state’s existing fair employment, housing and education law.
The Speaker or Pro Tem could request a hearing on the bill and it would, as you all well know, with your help, still have time to pass this year. Please.