Gay Rights Activists in Magic Valley Determined to Continue Campaign

Magic Valley Life & People
2012-02-27T02:00:00Z 2012-03-05T06:38:54Z Gay Rights Activists in Magic Valley Determined to Continue CampaignBy Natalie Dicou - ndicou@magicvalley.com Twin Falls Times-News

TWIN FALLS • Gay rights activist Cody Hafer cycled through a range of emotions Feb. 10 when the Senate State Affairs Committee killed legislation that would’ve added protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

“I was honestly heartbroken at first, and thenIslowly moved to being quite angry, and now I’m kind of just determined to keep fighting for the rest of the legislative session,” said Hafer, of Twin Falls, one of the leaders in the campaign known as Add the Words.

Despite the setback, activists haven’t slowed their efforts to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Gem State human rights protections.

Mistie Tolman, statewide Add the Words spokeswoman, said events such as silent protests will continue to be held two or three times a week in Boise until a bill is printed or the legislative session ends — whichever comes first.

A Feb. 16 end-around attempt by Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise — to add the words by amending an unrelated bill on prison contraband — failed in the Senate. Further action on the issue in the 2012 session is unlikely, but Magic Valley activists say they’ll keep campaigning anyway.

There will likely be an event in Twin Falls, but it hasn’t been planned yet, Hafer said Feb. 20.

Hafer, a Twin Falls High graduate, has been on the front lines of Add the Words. He served as the statewide coordinator for the Day of Action on Jan. 28. Hafer helped organize rallies, vigils and protests in 13 Idaho cities, including Twin Falls, where more than 50 people met in front of the Twin Falls County Courthouse to hold signs and drum up support from passers-by.

Twin Falls father-daughter duo Brad and Jenn Siegel were there that day, waving signs that read “Gay rights are human rights”and “Closets are for clothes.”

“It was encouraging to have many, many drivers honk in support,” Brad said. “I witnessed no unkind gestures or comments. The same cannot be said of our legislators, many of whom were unable to even have the courtesy to respond to constituents as to why they voted in the manner they did.”

In addition to Day of Action events, Magic Valley residents set up an info table in Burley recently to spread their message.

“The legislators need to realize this isn’t just about politics,” said James Tidmarsh, another of Twin Falls’ Add the Words leaders. “They’re playing with people’s lives. Something needs to be done.”

Tidmarsh spent a couple of winter Saturdays standing by the Perrine Bridge, holding up a big “Add the Words” sign.

“We feel this is way too important of an issue to back down and not keep fighting,” Tolman said. “The outpouring of public support on this issue is bigger than we’ve ever seen it. We feel like it’s moving at lightning speed and really slowly at the same time.”

Copyright 2015 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. Nab0res
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    Nab0res - March 05, 2012 7:49 am
    Being gay means that people of the same sex are haveing sex with each other. Man with man is sodomy that is against the law. what these people are doing is a crime against nature.
    Why do they insist that the world know who they are? If they would just keep it under the cover they would injoy the same rights as anyone else. If we grant these people the right to be openly gay then anyone that has served time in prison for sodomy should have their records esponged asap. For it has become legal. I think that Reprisentives in all states and washington should be aware of this. Anyone that supports Gays should be aware that people have been put in prison and punished for what they are doing. If you think People have the right to be gay the lets make it right for the ones that have been punished for it.
  2. Jim_Bob
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    Jim_Bob - March 02, 2012 10:53 am
    1017,

    Thanks for your kind comments, I'm so tired of feeling like such a damn outcast here with a totally different mind set then the rest. It's nice to see some intelligent like minded individuals in the sea of ignorance that is idaho. Stay strong, keep fighting. We can make a difference.
  3. 1017
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    1017 - March 01, 2012 8:10 am
    GAYS ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. Are you that unintelligent that you can't even READ the articles to see what the problem is?

    @Jim_Bob, I'm glad someone else is making the same arguments with jdreyson as I have in the past. It's great that people can actually post factual information, yet still these intolerant people don't get it. He will have the same responses to you as he did for me. He actually told me that he feels bad for me as a woman to think that I need to be protected by some "words." Just goes to show you that this is the type of person that would have everything back to how it used to be. He doesn't understand history, or the significance of it. Jdreyson wants "everyone to be treated equally", well so do the rest of us, but SOME need to be protected. Thank you again for your knowledge and factual argument. I support you, but you will never win the argument against jdreyson....people like that can't seem to see past their own nose.
  4. jdyreson
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    jdyreson - February 29, 2012 10:21 pm
    They were'nt ever slaves and have always been alowed to vote. Nobody is being discriminated against, you cant legislate morality no matter who's morality. Who is being segregated? Who is being discriminated againt? Whats next affirmative action for gay people too? Yeah, I am the biggot.
  5. Jim_Bob
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    Jim_Bob - February 28, 2012 4:22 pm
    JD, Your ignorance is amazing.
    "Yeah, yeah I know only gays can be discriminated against and only straight white people can be biggots."
    The straight white people are bigots because they don't allow LGBT the same rights as themselves. You may not agree with it but why would you be ok hurting them because of it. Its called tolerance and you obviously have none. We aren't asking you to join them or support them, just tolerate them as citizens of the same state that live by the same laws. You bigots are creating laws protecting yourselves and allowing others to be punished unfairly.

    "Nothing done to a gay is any more or less wrong than if it is done to anyone else." You are absolutely correct. Except there are no laws providing any recourse in the event that they are discriminated against.
    Its a lot like being a minority. Not like you would know anything about that. Picture way back in the day when women couldn't vote. They were considered a lower class of people and therefore were not allowed the same rights as men. As our society grew and evolved we realized that women deserved equal rights. We later passed legislation that allowed women to enjoy much of the same rights as the rest of the country. We decided as a society that discriminating against people because of their gender was unjust and unacceptable. Some conservatives still think that was a mistake as is evident by the stipulations involved in some of the barbaric abortion legislature trying to be pushed through in such modern times.
    Then came the civil rights movement where we decided that it was not beneficial to our society to regard black people as a second lower class but as equals affording them much of the same rights we enjoy on a daily basis. One of the best things that happened was ending the ability to discriminate against people based on the color of their skin. I can understand how all of this is probably very scary to you, JD, but allowing the LGBT community to live within the same set of rules and being protected just as the rest of us is just another step in protecting our own citizens. Our society is evolving and the majority are realizing that segregation and discrimination are hurtful to all!
  6. jdyreson
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    jdyreson - February 28, 2012 10:27 am
    Yeah, yeah I know only gays can be discriminated against and only straight white people can be biggots. Nothing done to a gay is any more or less wrong than if it is done to anyone else. We are constatntly told you cant legislate morality, well someone should tell that to the local gay community. Laws may be written but they cant protect you from yourselves. ALL CRIMES ARE HATE CRIMES!
  7. 1017
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    1017 - February 27, 2012 3:18 pm
    Wade, they are fighting for protection from discrimination. It is highly abundant among people of a homosexual orientation. Example, they can be thrown out of a rental house because of their orientation, fired from jobs. It is just another thing that needs to be protected because some people feel the need to NOT treat them as equal. Not all people do this, but some do quite often. It would just be another protected thing: Race (due to slavery and segregation), Religion (due to our first amendment rights), Gender (due to civil rights for women), and National Origin (this one should be obvious). All they are trying to do is ease the amount of prejudice against them. This is not a fight for more rights, it is a fight for equal treatment and rights...like we have seen many times with many different groups of people in our country.

    Jdreyson. You're at it again. GREAT JOB. Luckily people don't discriminate against you, I'd hate to see the result of that movement.
  8. jdyreson
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    jdyreson - February 26, 2012 11:46 am
    This is what words get you.

    http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20220225lawyer_lesbians_assault_on_gay_man_cant_be_hate_crime/srvc=home%26position=2

    Why cant you except your life or feelings are worth no more than anyone else's.
    A crime is a crime it should not matter your sexual orientation,race,religion or sex. If you want to be treated as equals act like it!
  9. Wade A
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    Wade A - February 26, 2012 6:35 am
    Great, so people are holding signs and pushing for gay and transgender to legislation. What difference will that make at the end of the day? Without this addition what rights will be denied to these constituents? I don't condone antigay sentiment but fail to understand why this addition is imperative. Someone please enlighten me

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