Video from Moscow, Idaho, shows police arresting parishioners as they participated in a public psalm sing in defiance of mask and social distancing mandates.
Police cited five out of more than 150 people at the “flash psalm sing” event Wednesday for “suspicion of being in violation of Moscow’s mask/social distancing order,” the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports.
“We wanted to make a statement we’re ready to head back to normal,” said Christ Church pastor and event organizer Ben Zornes.
Pastor Zornes said he warned attendees they could be cited by police for participating in the event, but he maintained parishioners were well within their First Amendment rights, arguing, “We were just singing songs.”
Moscow Police Chief James Fry told the Daily News while the department’s been “very lenient” on enforcing social distancing guidelines, “at some point in time you have to enforce.”
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An Idaho woman was arrested Tuesday after police say she was violating city orders by trespassing on a city playground that was closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. CBS affiliate KBOI-TV reports that 40-year-old Sara Brady, of Meridian, was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing.
Following Brady’s arrest, which was captured on social media, there were protests held at Meridian City Hall, KBOI reported. Station KTVB reported that roughly 100 people protested.
“I feel like I was singled out because I was the only person that was arrested,” Brady told KBOI. “I wasn’t the only person standing on the bark. I definitely wasn’t playing on the playground equipment. I wasn’t swinging, never touched them. But yeah, I do feel like I was singled out and maybe it was because I asked too many questions.”
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A new law in Idaho prohibits boys and men from competing in girls and women’s sports.
The “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” signed into law by Republican Governor Brad Little Monday, aims to prevent unfair athletic advantages by transgender men who attempt to compete in women’s sports.
“The legislature finds that there are ‘inherent differences between men and women,’” the act states, “and that these differences ‘remain cause for celebration, but not for denigration of the members of either sex or for artificial constraints on an individual’s opportunity.’”
Continuing, the first-of-its-kind act notes the differences in male and female biology, including that men “have higher natural levels of testosterone,” and that these differences “explain the male and female secondary sex characteristics which develop during puberty and have life-long effects, including those most important for success in sport: categorically different strength, speed, and endurance.”
“Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex,” states the act.
A federal appeals court has ruled taxpayers in Idaho must fund a sex change operation for an inmate incarcerated for raping a minor.
In a ruling Monday, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a federal judge in Idaho who ruled that denying the gender reassignment surgery for 31-year-old Adree Edmo violated the 8th Amendment’s “cruel and unusual punishment” protections.
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SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – An Idaho wildlife official was forced to resign on Monday after photographs of him posing with a family of baboons and other wild creatures he killed in September during a hunting trip in Africa went viral online, igniting a firestorm of criticism.
In a resignation letter to Idaho Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter, state Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer cited poor judgment in posting the images.
“I recently made some poor judgments that resulted in sharing photos of a hunt in which I did not display an appropriate level of sportsmanship and respect for the animals I harvested,” he wrote.
Otter, who first appointed Fischer to the seven-member commission in 2014, said he asked for and received Fischer’s resignation on Monday.
“I have high expectations and standards for every appointee in state government. Every member of my administration is expected to exercise good judgment. Commissioner Fischer did not,” Otter said in a statement.
Fischer did not respond to an emailed request for comment Monday.