In Idaho today it remains legal for businesses to fire, evict and refuse to serve a person simply because they are gay or transgender. Lawmakers' refusal to add the words to include LGBT people in Idaho's existing non-discrimination laws sends the message that discrimination is acceptable in our state.


Each year in Idaho people face violence and increasingly, because of the environment in the state, young people take their lives in despair. It is time for lawmakers to finally be brave and add the words. It’s the right thing to do. Hear the ads and consider donating so we can air them statewide starting January 1.


For ten years Idaho's gay and transgender people for years met with lawmakers, reasoned, negotiated, lobbied, held rallies and educated but nothing changed. In 2014 almost 200 “Add the 4 Words” trained Idahoans were arrested in peaceful protest in the Capitol. Until then no public hearing had ever been held to hear what people across Idaho face.


Add the 4 Words is one of many groups working to ensure that gay and transgender people are included in idaho's non-dicrimintion laws. Add the 4 Words was born out of our sister organization Add the Words which has organized annual rallies, postcard drives, sticky note message campaigns as well as other lobbying at advocacy. Add the 4 Words came out of  the need for an organization to train and organize people to do civil disobedience to increase pressure on the Idaho legislature which had spent decades refusing even to listen to the stories of gay and transgender people, much less pass legislation to make sure LGBT people do not face job discrimination, are not refused service by businesses or denied access to housing or education. In 2015 following almost 200 arrests in the Capitol in 2014, a public hearing was finally held on the bill to add the words. While law makers cried tears at the stories of discrimination and vowed to work to add the words in the years to come, they voted no and the bill dies in the House State Affairs Committee on a party line vote. Through many organizations from Include Us and Add the 4 Words to ACLU and Add the Words, the work continues. In 2017 Add the 4 Words aired radio ads and gay and transgender leaders spent weeks inside the Capitol working to help lawmakers understand how urgent the need is. A consensus is growing on the need to include LGBT people in Idaho's laws banning discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and education. In 2018 the work continues and the voices of businesses and individuals grow ever more critical in sharing stories and ensuring lawmakers know there is a need for a change to also protect gay and transgender people in the area of public accommodation or daily business transactions and to prevent us from being denied goods and services in rural communities.

Ty Carson and Judy Cross at Add the Four Words action outside Senate chamber of the Idaho State capitol


To ensure the four words "sexual orientation, gender identity" are added to the Idaho Human Rights act. Through lobbying, radio and billboard ads, social media, and as a last resort through planned acts of civil disobedience we work to persuade Idaho State Representatives and Senators to "add the words." 


In 2017 we have four radio advertisements we hope to raise $5000 to air statewide after the new year and before the Idaho legislative session begins on January 9th. Ads focus on the consequences of harassment and the discrimination which is all too commonplace for gay and transgender people trying to work hard, support their families, and contribute to their communities everyday in Idaho. In 2017 we hope language acknowledging the first amendment rights of churches and individual businesses owners makes headway in creating consensus around the need to add the words this year.

Denae Carson add the words movie promo 2015


A film by Michael Gough and Cammie Pavisic explores the Add the 4 Words protests and lives of some of leaders of Idaho's Add the Words movement including Mistie Tolman, former Co-Chair and spokeswoman for Add the Words, and Add the 4 Words activists, Dianne Piggott, Donna Harwood and Nicole LeFavour. Included also is Julie Zicha, mother of Ryan Zicha a Pocatello gay teen who faced harassment, discrimination and bullying which was never addressed by schools, state or local government. Featured at the Sun Valley, Bend & Out Film Festivals and on After Ellen, the film's available on Amazon.com.