LGBTQ community protected in the workplace by federal law

Posted at 4:22 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 18:51:35-04

IDAHO — For a decade and a half, the LGBTQ community has been trying to get statewide nondiscrimination protection laws passed for LGBTQ members in Idaho.

In a 6-3 vote, the United States Supreme Court ruled that existing federal law bans job discrimination based on one's sexual orientation and transgender status.

Just one of the battles 'Add the Words,' a statewide group from Idaho which works to update the Idaho Human Rights Act, has been fighting for 15 years.

"As Idahoans, it's always been a place where we really honor and uphold people's individuality and being able to work hard, do better, and live up to their potential. That should include being able to provide for themselves and for their family without fear discrimination just based on who they love," says the Chair of Add the Words, Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln.

'Add the Words' says their battle is still not over. They are also fighting for the Idaho Human Rights Act to be updated with protections around housing and public accommodations for LGBTQ members.

"We certainly will be looking at what it's going to mean to advocate for these other components of the law that also need to be updated. That may not mean waiting for that to happen at a federal level, but certainly hoping to persuade the legislative majority, but it could be updated at a local level," says Ganona-Lincoln.

She says it felt very fitting for this rule to be passed during Pride month.

"I know that their fighters are fighting and that we're all in this together, but right now, we're really excited and celebrating," says Ganona-Lincoln.

'Add the Words' organizers say they'll continue pushing for changes to Idaho's Human Rights Act and are currently focused on making changes to Idaho's ban on transgender girls playing in girl's athletic competitions.