Idaho’s Republican Party wants to keep discrimination in Idaho by getting rid of city ordinances that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The party’s central committee passed a resolution to invalidate the ordinances passed by city councils in six cities.
The resolution has no weight in the Legislature, but it does send a message to the Republican members, who make up 81 percent of the Legislature.
One Republican said non-discrimination ordinances could lead to gay men wearing tutus to work, despite the well-established employer power to set office dress codes:
Cornel Rasor, a former Bonner County commissioner and chairman of the Idaho GOP’s resolutions committee, said, “I’d hire a gay guy if I thought he was a good worker. But if he comes into work in a tutu … he’s not producing what I want in my office.”
The resolution, if eventually passed into law, could be considered unconstitutional as it strips away non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.
Currently, Idaho has no state-wide law banning this type of discrimination, leaving their citizens vulnerable to being fired from their job, evicted, or denied service based only on sexual orientation and gender identity.
An attempt in 2012 to amend the Idaho Human Rights Act to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was quickly dropped after a Senate committee rejected the legislation in front of 250 supporters.
This year, a lawmaker tried to introduce the legislation again but was met with indifference from Senate and House State Affairs committees, who were given a mere “informational” presentation. No bill was considered nor was public testimony taken.
Kirsten Gibson is an intern for ThinkProgress.