Idaho Lawmakers Begin Listening To 'Add the Words' Testimony

Jan 26, 2015

Thousands of Idahoans have flocked to the Statehouse to testify in front of lawmakers concerning a bill that would include sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the state's Human Rights Act.

The Lincoln Auditorium at the Idaho statehouse was filled early Monday morning as people waited to testify for and against HB2, the so-called "Add the Words" bill.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The legislation, commonly called the "Add the Words" bill, had been denied a public hearing for nine consecutive years.

As of Monday morning, testifiers had filled every seat in the Lincoln Auditorium in the Idaho Capitol as well as three overflow rooms. An estimated 400 people had signed up to address the committee, some from out-of-state organizations like the Family Research Council and United Families Utah.

Republican state Rep. Tom Loertscher of Iona says the House State Affairs Committee will listen to testimony until the House convenes at 11:30 a.m. The committee will resume testimony at 5 p.m.