Idaho: Gay ex-senator ‘hides in Statehouse closet’ in discrimination law protest

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A gay former Senator hid in a closet in the Idaho Statehouse for over five hours, in protest at the Senate’s refusal to amend anti-discrimination laws to protect gay people.

Emerging from the closet yesterday in the Senate lounge, Nicole LeFavour remarked: “It’s a very large closet. There are lots of people in closets out there, and they’re not comfortable.”

According to the Spokesman-Review, she was in the closet for five or six hours, before she was discovered by members of staff.

Republican Senate Leader Bart Davis said: “I have no idea how long she was there”.

LeFavour has had her floor privileges revoked for the remainder of the 2014 session.

She added: “Closets are never safe for gay or transgender people.

“What do you say or do when you’ve tried everything? What do you say when compassion and reason seem to have failed, when nothing will make the powerful stop and hear the stories an entire state has to tell?”

Idaho laws do not protect from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender expression, and same-sex couples are not recognised in the state.

LeFavour had previously been arrested five times this year, after attempting to hold vigils at the Statehouse.

Last month, the Supreme Court threw out a ban on same-sex couples in the state adopting children.

LeFavour was Idaho’s first openly gay lawmaker, and served four terms as a Senator before stepping down in 2012 to run for congress.