Idaho’s beauty often leaves people speechless. The friendliness of its citizens makes people feel welcome.

It’s great to be an Idahoan until someone pulls back the curtain on a strain of intolerance that runs through the state like poisonous lead through silver.

In three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, LGBTQ plaintiffs allege that they were fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

The act applies to them, the plaintiffs argue. No, it doesn’t, according to 15 states that now include Idaho.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden last week signed the state on to a friend-of-the-court brief that supports the idea that “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are different than “sex” as stated in the Civil Rights Act. It also supports the idea that only Congress can define words as used in legislation.

Idaho 1st District Congressman Russ Fulcher has also signed on.

The arguments are legal nitpicking enlisted in the name of discrimination against people whose genders and sex identification are different than others.

If they prevail, will people of certain “color” fail to be protected as well because their specific pigment is not specifically listed in the law? Will the Supreme Court give up its role as legal definer in chief?

It’s one thing for defendants in these cases, mostly businesses, to make those claims. It’s more than cringeworthy that elected public officials in Idaho are backing workplace discrimination. It disgraces this wonderful state and all honorable Idahoans.

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