Nov. 4 is Election Day, and Pride Foundation wants to encourage you to cast your vote.
This year has marked a time of celebration with the legal recognition of marriage equality in Idaho, Alaska, Oregon, and many more states across the U.S.
But while we rejoice in this important milestone, we must remember that we have many more strides to make on the road to full LGBTQ equality, especially here in Idaho. A big part of that change can only happen with the help of elected officials.
In Idaho, a majority of LGBTQ residents remain unprotected in housing, employment, and public accommodations due to the failure of the legislature to pass, or even hold a public hearing on an “Add the Words” bill—which would include the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protections in the Idaho Human Rights Act.
Nine cities in the state have adopted their own local non-discrimination ordinances, each with varying degrees of protection for LGBTQ residents, but it’s not enough. A statewide bill is needed to ensure protection for everyone.
The cruel irony is that while LGBTQ couples in Idaho can now marry, most can still be fired for putting a photo of their spouse on their work desk, denied the opportunity to rent a home together, or not allowed to visit their ill spouse in the hospital.
Fortunately, there are prospective political candidates in Idaho this year who believe that striving for full equality for the LGBTQ community is important—and the right thing to do.
We urge you to seek them out and take the time to vote on Nov. 4. You can find information on voter registration, polling places in Idaho, and more here. Absentee ballots can still be cast until Oct. 31.
Thank you for voting—and remember, your vote really does matter and makes a difference.
Steve Martin is the Regional Development Organizer in Idaho. Email Steve.