Initiative 'will give a license
to others to hate,' says
Idaho's Human Rights
By Dan Popkey
The Idaho Statesman
An Oregon anti-gay activist came to
Boise Wednesday and pledged to put a
tough anti-gay initiative on Idaho's 1994
Lon Mabon, chairman of the Oregon
Citizens Alliance, announced the formation
of the Idaho Citizens Alliance and a
political action committee at a Statehouse
He and a handful of supporters were
surrounded by 50 gay rights supporters,
who hissed and chanted, "Shame" and "Go
Mabon led the fight in Oregon for Measure
9, a constitutional amendment that
would have required governments to discourage
homosexuality and defined the
practice as "abnormal, wrong, unnatural
The amendment was soundly defeated
Nov. 3, but Mabon said his group will push
for similar measures in Idaho, Oregon and
Washington in 1994.
He said the group plans to spend
$500,000 on the Idaho campaign and still
more on candidates for governor and the
Human rights and gay activists decried
“We feel it's destructive." said Marilyn
Shuler, executive director of the Idaho
Human Rights Commission. "We are fearful
this will promote and give a license to
others to hate."
Shuler said she's puzzled why Mabon
has targeted Idaho. "I don't know why
they would come here. There's not one
statute or one ordinance that gives gay
and lesbian people anything."
Tom Shanahan/The Idaho Statesman
Lon Mabon, left, argues with Boisean Deanah Messenger in the basement of the
Statehouse on Wednesday morning after a news conference in which Mabon
announced the formation of the Idaho Citizens Alliance. The group will try to put
before Idaho voters an initiative similar to the failed Oregon Measure 9.
But Mabon said the effort is designed to
head off gay rights measures. "We are
being proactive. They have a political
agenda that wants to equate their behavior
as a minority classification.''
Mabon said the measure, which would
prohibit ''special rights" for gays, would
be submitted to the Idaho secretary of
State in two or three weeks.
"We don't believe the practice of sodomy
or lesbianism is a civil right," Mabon said.
"What they do in private is their business.
What they try and force upon our kids in
the public schools, or get special protect
ions in the law, that's what we're going to
See Anti-gay law/5C
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To get on the 1994 ballot
To qualify for the 1994 ballot, proponents
of the anti-gay-rights initiative
will have to collect 32,000 signatures
from registered voters.
They plan to submit the measure
to the secretary of State in two or
three weeks. It then will receive a review
and an advisory, non-binding,
opinion on its constitutionality from
the attorney general
Proponents have until July 1994 to
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