Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
States never cease to surprise me. A case in point, from Idaho:
BOISE - An Idaho Senate committee voted 6-2 on Monday - Martin Luther King Jr.-Idaho Human Rights Day - to introduce legislation to extend Idaho's anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation.
If enacted, the bill would make Idaho the 21st state to make that change.
Legislative sponsors, who include Republicans and Democrats, say the issue is not homosexuality, it's discrimination.
Idaho's 40-year-old human rights law bans discrimination in employment, housing and places of public accommodation based on race, sex, religion, color or national origin. It doesn't cover sexual orientation.
This is just a preliminary step, so it will be interesting to see whether this legislation goes anywhere. If you look at the Human Rights Campaign's map of state laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, every state to approve such a law so far is either a Democratic state or a swing state in presidential politics.
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