Idaho state senators rejected a bill that would have prohibited employment and housing discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The legislation was blocked in committee, thus ending any public hearing.
As reported by the Spokesman-Review, the move of the senators was a surprise to the 250 bill supporters assembled.
'I’m just astounded,' said Judy Halverson, a United Methodist Women member from Boise. 'This is 2012. It’s time, it is time.'
State senator Edgar Malepeai argued his 'Add The Words' bill would change the state's Human Rights Act to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
'It ensures that all Idahoans are free to hold jobs and rent apartments regardless of whether they are straight or gay,' Malepeai said. 'So the question before us today with this legislation is whether or not it is the policy of the state of Idaho to allow discrimination against our gay family members, co-workers and friends.'
This argument fell flat. Two members of the committee, both Democrats, voted to introduce the bill. The rest, four Republicans, said no.
'I think what you saw was the conflict of two entirely different world views.' Republican Sen. Russ Fulcher said to the Associated Press.