Statement on Idaho Governor’s Signing of Anti-Transgender Bills
March 31, 2020
Last night the governor of Idaho signed into law two pieces of anti-transgender legislation. HB 500 bans transgender girls from participation in school sports. HB 509 prohibits transgender people from updating their birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender.
These laws hurt transgender people and their loved ones in Idaho and make the lives of those in an already vulnerable community even more difficult. They also fly in the face of established legal precedent. The current Idaho Attorney General and five former attorneys general advised the governor that HB 500 did not meet constitutional standards, and a federal court has already ruled that a ban on updating birth certificates similar to HB 509 fails that test as well.
We have seen a staggering number of anti-transgender bills introduced in state legislatures across the country this year in a coordinated effort backed by anti-LGBTQ organizations. These bills rely on fear and misunderstanding to target transgender youth, particularly, by excluding them from full participation in school sports and depriving them of necessary medical care.
In New Hampshire, where GLAD works alongside state partners and transgender youth advocates, a bill similar to Idaho’s HB 500 seeking to ban transgender girls from school sports was thankfully defeated in two committees and on the House floor. But we know that even at a moment when our nation should be pulling together in common cause, we are likely to see these divisive efforts to target transgender people continue.
Attacking the most vulnerable among us should never be our way forward. The people of Idaho deserve better than this from their government, and transgender youth and adults everywhere need and deserve access to the same opportunities as every other American.
As we mark the annual Transgender Day of Visibility today, GLAD sends a message of support and solidarity to transgender people in Idaho and across the country. We are here for you and we won’t stop fighting for fair and equal treatment for everyone in our communities.
If you have questions about your rights or need information, please reach out to us at www.GLADAnswers.org