Add the Words Idaho hosts activist training

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-28 20:42:02-05

Twelve years later and groups advocating for the Idaho Human Rights Act to be updated are not giving up hope.

On Saturday, newcomers to the Add the Words movement took part in an activist training session.

When you think of the Add the Words movement, images of folks with a hand over their mouth getting arrested at the state capitol might come to mind. Civil disobedience protests organized by their sister affiliate, Add the Four Words, has worked in the past to create awareness and keep a dialogue going.

However, the activist training session at the statehouse was focused on disseminating information on the basics of how the legislative process works and best practices on how to interact with lawmakers.

ACLU Idaho representatives were there hoping to inspire people to affect change in the Gem state no matter what cause you're behind.

"It takes people coming together and organizing to show legislators that we won't stand for laws like this," said Kathy Griesmyer, ACLU Idaho policy director. "We want Idaho to be a place full of love and equality."

There are plenty of ways to get involved whether it be attending a public hearing, listening in during the session from the gallery level or writing an email.

"This really is the people's statehouse. Everybody has the ability to come and engage with our lawmakers and help craft the community that we want to be a part of," said Joseph Kibbe, who was in attendance.

Those with the Add the Words Idaho movement plan to continue on with their mission. Realizing kindness cannot be ordered through legislation, they ask for access to a process to find resolution if and when discrimination occurs.

"If somebody did face discrimination that would allow us to access Idaho Human Rights Commission, file a complaint, have them investigate, mediate and find a resolution," said Chairwoman for Add the Words Idaho Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln. "And, as of right now, we don't even have access to that kind of problem-solving in our state."

Two bills related to the movement were introduced on Friday. House bills 69 and 71 are aimed at providing protections for the LGBT community in society and in the work place.