LGBTQIA+ Rights in Idaho

By: Madeleine Clow

It came to my attention earlier this year, simply by mistake, that the LGBTQIA+ community is not protected by hate crime laws in the state of Idaho. I have lived in Idaho as long as I have been out of the closet, since 2015. Same-sex relationships have been legal in Idaho, but same-sex marriage has not, until the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize Gay Marriage under federal law, nationally in 2015. I honestly believe that if same-sex marriage had not been legalized nationally, that it would still be illegal today in the state of Idaho.

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Idaho capitol building lit in support of Pride Month

When I learned that my life was not protected under law by discrimination due to my sexuality, I felt very unsafe in the environment that I call home. I began to research what other rights the LGBTQIA+ community has been excluded from, and I was astonished to find out that Idaho does not prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Idaho does not protect from employment discrimination, or public and school harassment and discrimination, and conversion therapy is still legal.

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A Hero in Her Own Words

A portrait of Margaret Witt in her air force uniform.
A hero for the LGBTQIA+ community is coming to the UI campus this week.

By Rosemary Anderson

America has seen firsthand the creation of discriminatory policies in its history, but it has also seen these policies be overturned in favor of equality. To this day, people are working hard to have their voice heard and represented in American society. But it takes a special person to destroy a prejudiced institution, armed with nothing but their own bravery.

Luckily for UI students, we have the opportunity to meet and hear from one of these special people: Major Margaret Witt – an activist, an author, a wife, and a woman who made way for LGBTQIA+ people to serve openly in the military.

Maj.  Witt had an exemplary career with the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves until she was discharged in 2007 under the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The policy prohibited known gays and lesbians from serving in the U.S. military and expulsed more than 13,000 gay servicemen and women already enlisted.

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A Post-Heterosexual Vision of Love

 

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A comic about gender being performative

By Olivia Comstock

Every part of our lives is stereotyped and put into boxes – our class, our education, our gender, our sexuality, and our love. This is frustrating and wrong because love should be the most free, open, and genuine part of life. Instead, it is limited by strict normalized gender roles and heteronormativity. These place implied expectations and create assumptions based on one’s role as the man or the woman in the relationship. Because of this, the possibilities of what love can be are limited. Openness, comfort, and self-love on the individual level also create these characteristics in a relationship. However, these traits are stifled by what is considered “normal” and people’s attempts to conform to it. There is potential to expand the possibilities of how people love through looking at the queer community and through a vision of a post-heterosexual world. I acknowledge that this is a very broad topic. I am only going to do a brief survey of how I think queerness could help us move beyond the boundaries and institutions in place today, but I am aware of the infiniteness of this topic.

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Think Before You Speak

Nick Dimico

Companies all over the world have been caught in the scandal of speaking before thinking. This, of course, is not anything new, but one company has made major headlines over past weeks due to the anti-gay remarks made by its president.

Barilla, the world’s largest pasta company, had its President, Guido Barilla, speak on an Italian radio show on September 25th. When the radio host asked why the company does not feature gay families in its ads, Barilla gave the following statement, per a Huffington Post translation of the interview.:

We have a slightly different culture…For us, the ‘sacral family’ remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings,  they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta. You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals – who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families.

Personally, I find it quite amusing when companies such as Barilla make comments like this, because you would think that with how big the company is in the industry, that they would have the decency to keep their anti-gay opinions to themselves. Instead they make remarks like this and try to cover them up with an apology the next day. Sorry Barilla, it’s not going to work.

In today’s society, making remarks like this will cost you. According to ABC News, Barilla brings in a half billion dollars a year in U.S. sales alone, which now could be affected.

Within minutes of the comments hitting the internet universe, people all over the world became angered through social media.

According to Daily Finance, Barilla trended on Twitter for perhaps the first time ever, and it appears a boycott is now well under way. The executive quickly issued a clarification of his comments, writing on the Barilla corporate website that he had “utmost respect” for gay people and their marriages and that he apologized if [his] words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they hurt someone’s sensitivity.”

Sensitivity? Misunderstanding? I think we heard you loud and clear Mr. Barilla. You find that the LGBT community sits on a different level then you do. It’s OK; I think we got your point.

“It’s the kind of non-apology apology with the words “sorry you were offended” that’s unlikely to cure anyone’s damaged “sensitivity.”

Model Christine Teigan, wife of singer John Legend tweeted; “Yikes. Bye, bye, me using Barilla.”

After realizing the way in which Barilla’s remarks affected the public, Barilla met with the Italian LGBT associations on October 7th in Bologna, northern Italy to simmer the boycott from its products and company. Barilla is trying to turn down the heat by proposing pro-gay policies for the future.

Although Barilla said they won’t feature gay families in there advertising, many other pasta companies will according to the Huffington Post. Below are just a few of the companies that have been open to the LGBT community.

Buitoni Pasta:

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Bertolli Pasta:

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Garofalo Pasta:

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According to the company’s website Guido Barilla issued a formal statement of apology.

At Barilla, we care about everyone, regardless of race, religion, belief, gender or sexual orientation. Our mission is to help people – every single person – live better, by bringing well-being and the joy of eating into their everyday lives. 

We value and respect a family, that includes everyone. As stated in the Barilla lighthouse – our strategy document – we promote diversity. Diversity of all kinds is a clear objective that the company has put forward. 

Barilla recognizes cultural, gender and skills diversity as an essential value for the company’s well-being. Integrity, inclusion, social and environmental responsibility are the values in which Barilla reflects itself, as results of a strong and widely recognized identity. 

Barilla firmly believes that, in order to qualify its business activities as ethical, it shall operate in respecting and safeguarding human rights, the regenerative capabilities of the Planet and the welfare of communities, while promoting a sustainable human development.

Barilla’s goal goes beyond bringing high-quality food products that are good for people. We also take care of our planet, by focusing on growing the business of those food products that have a low environmental impact. 

We will take advantage of the recent incident to learn and to promote even harder the diversity path that Barilla has undertaken.

To all our friends, family, employees and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.

-Guido Barilla

It’s shocking the way the company can go out and speak to the media and not be able to predict the consequences that come with their actions, especially by ‘coming out’ and stating an apology that you are wanting to propose pro-gay policies when we already heard that you don’t believe that the LGBT community has the same human rights as you do. Please save your fake apologizes for someone else, and next time, think before you speak.