Jim Crow goes gay in Idaho
How can you convince people in the bright red state of
Idaho to vote against an amendment banning same-sex marriage,
civil unions, and domestic partnerships? Give them an American
history lesson, says a new group of gay and lesbian activists,
who plastered the state capital, Boise, with 170 stickers
that read HETEROSEXUALS ONLY.
The amendment--passed by the legislature on February 15
and headed to voters in November--fueled the bold campaign
by about a dozen activists, who hoped the stickers would
bring back bad memories of the Jim Crow laws that separated
blacks and whites last century. "we felt strongly
about taking an action against what the legislature did," said
Jennie Myers, 28.
The group snuck inside the state capitol building early
on the morning of March 6, tiptoeing around armed guards
as they put the stickers on bathroom doors before going
outside and placing them on Boise bus stop benches and
drinking fountains. "We had an accelerated pulse rate," said
Dan Scott, 42. "We were certainly aware of what we
were doing and that there could be legal consequences."
The stickers were removed (though not by the group) by
day's end, and the fallout was relatively quiet, considering
Idaho's staunchly conservative culture. Two local TV stations
covered the campaign; state senate president pro tempore
Robert Geddes, a Republican who was the amendment's senate
sponsor, told one that the stickers were wrong "because
I think everybody has the same rights here in Idaho, and
we're not taking anybody's rights away."