State of Idaho does not ban discrimination against same-sex couples

"Outside of Coeur d'Alene, people can be fired for being gay, and so to be able to come and get your marriage license, and to have such a wonderful celebration around that, but then have all of that fear, whether or not I'm still going to have a job...that's a real tragedy in the state," says Julie Stratton, explaining why in the first two hours of the Kootenai County Recorders Office being open to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, no couples came through.

The halls of the county building were filled with reporters and supporters of same-sex marriage, but it wouldn't be until nearly noon that a couple came through to get their license. Stratton believes it has to do with the lack of protection from the state in regards to discrimination against sexual orientation.

Coeur d'Alene is one of eight cities that has adopted an ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in areas like work and your living situation, but the state has yet to make that ruling.

Stratton says many in the state of Idaho are pushing for a campaign known as "add the words", which seeks to put the topic in front of the state senate, in hopes a vote will take place to add a ban against sexual orientation into the state's human rights act. Until then, she says it's that fear of being openly gay in Idaho that may scare many away from seeking a marriage license.

Governor Butch Otter said in a statement after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban on same sex marriage that he disagreed with the court's decision, but, "This is a nation of laws, and Idaho should proceed with civility."

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