Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?
Senate Bill 1237 would amend Sections 67-5901, 67-5902, and 67-5909, Idaho Code, to add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the state's anti-discrimination statutes.
State law has long asserted that protecting individuals from "discrimination" by private parties while on their own property is a proper function of government. Senate Bill 1237 would expand this concept by increasing the number of people who are given special privileges under the law.
Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?
In a free market, the terms of employment and rental contracts would not be determined by government. Under Idaho's human rights act and the expansions proposed by Senate Bill 1237, hiring decisions and contract terms are further restricted by government prohibitions.
Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?
By effectively forbidding employers, landlords, and others from choosing not to do business with people who fall into certain groups ("protected classes"), Senate Bill 1237 could create incentives for employers and landlords not to hire or rent to members of these protected classes, since any adverse action they take against them in the future could result in a claim of illegal discrimination. Ironically, then, it is those whom the statute purports to protect who are most likely to find themselves denied entry into the market.
Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?
Senate Bill 1237 is a perfect example of a bill that violates the principle of equal protection under the law. Giving some people special government-granted protections that are not extended equally to all is itself a form of discrimination codified into law.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?
Senate Bill 1237 declares that "it shall be a prohibited act to discriminate against a person because of, or on a basis of ... sexual orientation [or] gender identity." By prohibiting the act of choosing not to do business with someone ("discrimination"), the bill would further criminalize inaction, such as not hiring a prospective employee, not servicing a potential client, etc. No person has an inherent right to force another person to enter into a contract, but this law would further criminalize the victimless act of simply saying no.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
Senate Bill 1237 would expand existing violations of freedom of association and property rights by further restricting what employers and landlords could do.
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