Add the 4 WordsFor more than eight years Idaho’s Gay and Transgendered people have been silenced by the legislature’s failure to even hold a public hearing on the add the words bill so that they would hear our stories and the stories of Idaho citizens who live in fear or have faced beatings, the despair and suicides of their children or their friends, loss of jobs, apartments, denial of service by restaurants and businesses.

On February 3rd 2014 the work and training of over 100 people brought 44 to the Idaho Capitol in the early morning hours. They blocked the doors to the Senate Chamber where Senate President Brent Hill had told media and the public that again for the 8th year in a row he would not even hear public testimony or the stories of gay & transgender people & that he would not allow passage of a bill to finally say that cruelty & discrimination against gay and transgender people is wrong. So rather than hearing the bill of commencing work on it, Senate President Hill had the protestors arrested & removed, hoping again to silence LGBT people from speaking in Idaho’s Capitol & being heard.

We have this to say, “Senator Hill, we will not be silenced. We will come back with more people until you hear us, hear our stories & finally show you do not endorse the violence against us, the despair, the fear, and the discrimination we face every day in tiny towns & cities across this state.”

List of the 44 people arrested:

Rabbi Daniel  Fink
Former Pastor Edwin  Keener
Reverend Deborah Graham
Jeannete Bowman
Karen  Kelley
Susan  Gelletly
Hilary  Rayhill
Evie  Smith
Shelley Axtell
Tick  Axtell
Gayle  Woods
Lee Taylor
Matthew Montoya
Donna Vasquez
Meredith Butts
Emilie Jackson-Edney
Judy Cross
Sharon Gregory
Jo-Ann Kachigian
Janine Watkins
Ty Carson
Denae Carson
Jenna Preheim
Arla  McEvoy
Patricia  McKernan
Nikki  Leonard
Salem Djembe
Patrick Metz-Smith
Deja Jones
Casie Briese
Rick Holm
Keith Blazor
Sheena Looslie
James Tidmarsh
Gabriel Ibarra
Debbie Mallis
NicoleLeFavour
Brian Topaz
Diane Tipton
Ashley Thomson
Rosie Luna
Donna Harwood
John Grubbs

Of the 44 arrested one week ago, four are clergy, 13 are straight, 6 are transgender, one is 80 years old, 5 are high school students and the number includes people with disabilities, people who face discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, people who have been victims of hate crimes, have despaired & attempted suicide, have had to hide who they are to get basic services from doctors, landlords, hotels & state agencies. It is time for the Idaho legislature to finally add the words & say discrimination & cruelty is wrong!

If the legislature refuses to hear us, we will go back to the capitol with more people next time. Join us.

THIS IS WHAT WE ISSUE TO POLICE ONCE WE WERE IN PLACE IN THE STATEHOUSE

TO CAPITOL, STATE and BOISE CITY POLICE from Add the Four Words Idaho demonstrators.

We are a PEACEFUL group of people determined to see the legislature vote to pass a bill adding four words, “sexual orientation, gender identity” to Idaho’s fair employment, housing, education & public accommodation law.

We are determined to remain peaceful, to negotiate and cooperate as much as possible while remaining in place in the Capitol.

We feel we have tried every avenue to get the legislature to hear our stories and see the harm being done to good people’s lives. We feel this demonstration is our only remaining avenue to ensure they hear us and finally, after 8 years, stand up and say that cruelty to gay & transgender people is wrong.

Every participant has been trained, most in two-hour non-violent civil disobedience trainings that included role plays. Once arrested, every participant is trained to comply and cooperate fully.

We do have legal observers in the area and they too are willing to cooperate as necessary to allow law enforcement to do their jobs.

Again, we are determined to be silent, peaceful, respectful and focused on why we are here.

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The stance the demonstrators use is intended to represent how we have been silenced by the legislature’s failure to even hold a public hearing on the add the words bill so that they would hear the stories of gay, transgender people and Idaho citizens who live in fear or have faced beatings, the despair and suicides of their children or their friends, loss of jobs, apartments, denial of service by restaurants and businesses.