The Idaho legislature’s House State Affairs Committee held public hearings this week on HB2, a bill that would add wording to the state’s Human Rights Act including “sexual orientation and gender identity.” While this would seem a straight forward attempt to protect people from discrimination, there are those who see it as a nefarious attempt to corrupt their children or place them in danger from predators.
The hearings drew testimony from 70 people on Monday and another 47 on Tuesday. Among those testifying on Tuesday was Laurie Burchfield who identified herself as a Christian, mother, grandmother and small business owner.
Burchfield told the committee that she has a “deep love and compassion for all people, as Christ has taught” her but “that love and compassion does not mean I condone the LGBT lifestyle.”
She said that the proposed wording would “open up a Pandora’s Box of sexual preferences.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, do you really want to legalize under this bill pedophilia, sadism, bestiality, necrophilia, exhibitionism, polygamy and many others?” She asked. “Those are all within this undefined term.”
Not satisfied with raising the specter of that red herring, she went on to suggest that gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgender people are sexual predators:
“Our laws are designed to protect and keep safe the citizens of Idaho… Everyone should be free to go to a public restroom without fear of people with confused sexual orientation exposing themselves to our children or flagrantly and unnecessarily parading their genitalia in the locker rooms of our YMCAs and gyms.”
Nineteen other states already have passed legislation that protects sexual orientation and transgendered people from discrimination and another three provide protection for sexual orientation only.
“As a police officer, my heart and my experience tells me we will all enjoy a safer community if we add the words to include sexual orientation and gender identity in our state human rights act,” said Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson testifying in favor of adding the words to the law.
Watch Burchfield’s testimony in the video below.