'These young people are ready to take their own lives'
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Add The Words protesters blocked off parts of the capitol again Thursday, but this time also shined a light on gay teens who have committed suicide over being bullied.
Protesters held up the pictures of two Pocatello teens who were both openly gay and took their own lives.
15-year-old Maddie Beard took her own life last week, and 19-year-old Ryan Zicha killed himself three years ago.
Many lawmakers have said in the past that there was no need to "Add the Words" because they hadn't heard of any cases where someone had been discriminated against over their sexual orientation. Protesters claim this is a perfect example of why they need those protections.
Jennie Rylee, a protester from Boise, volunteers at a suicide hotline and claims they get several calls about teens who think about taking their lives over pressure about their sexuality.
"These young people are ready to take their own lives," said Rylee. "Rather than to live in a world where the fact of their sexuality and who they love means that the people around them can discriminate against them."
According to Rylee, Ryan Zicha's mother did speak with the Governor Otter about the issue.
Eventually 46 protesters were arrested for trespassing and blocking off entrances.
Even though lawmakers have given no indication they plan on bringing the issue up during this session, protesters are hopeful that their efforts will get something moving