Gays, lesbians plan second try to amend rights act

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Gay, lesbian and transgender activists with the group Add The Words tried but failed last year to get the Idaho Human Rights Act amended to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

"So that all Idahoans are protected," said the group's co-chair, Mistie Tolman. "So you can't be fired for being gay, you can't be denied housing, or educational opportunities simply because of who you are."

Now, the group plans to try again.

You may remember last year supporters of Add The Words used sticky notes and wrote words on them expressing their desire and stuck them on the statehouse walls. But in the end they were not able to get a hearing.

But it's a different statehouse in 2013, with many new faces and points of view.

"We're hoping there might be more receptive lawmakers this year," Tolman said.

Also, Boise and Sandpoint recently passed city ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

And Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, (D) Boise, says she's prepared to introduce a new bill in what may be a more welcoming climate.

"One thing Idahoans care about is fairness," Sen. Buckner-Webb said. "Fairness and equity. Not special rights. Fairness and equity. That's what we're interested in."

And this time around, Add The Words plans to skip plastering the statehouse with sticky notes.