Idaho Lawmakers Pass Two Anti-Trans Bills and Nothing for COVID-19 Relief
Way to prioritize, Idaho.
As the cases of COVID-19 grow exponentially across the globe, local governments are working tirelessly to promote public safety measures and provide relief. Unless of course, you’re the Idaho state legislature, which is responding to the pandemic by passing bills aimed at making life harder for transgender folks. Who knew the one entity invulnerable to coronavirus was bigotry?
The first bill to pass is the birth certificate bill, which prohibits people from changing the gender listed on their birth certificates. Idaho had previously passed a version of the bill, which was ruled as unconstitutional by a federal court in 2018. Now the republican-controlled Idaho legislature is back it, claiming a “biological basis” for marking sex on birth certificates.
The second bill pertains to school athletics, and bans trans and intersex girls from competing as girls in school sports. If a student wants to compete in the girls’ division, she must undergo invasive testing, which includes, “a signed physician’s statement that shall indicate the student’s sex based solely on: The student’s internal and external reproductive anatomy; the student’s normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone; an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup.” There is no bill for trans or intersex boys.
Kathy Griesmyer, policy director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, said “This bill attempts to solve a problem that does not exist while slamming the door shut for transgender student athletes to fully participate in their school communities, … Idaho has not seen any issues with trans girls competing in the girls sports. This unconstitutional and mean-spirited bill prevents trans girls from finding community and self-esteem in sports and will certainly result in litigation to defend the civil rights of Idaho’s transgender community.”
Five former Idaho state attorneys general have recommended that Gov. Brad Little veto the bills, as they will inevitably make their way to federal court and be shot down. In the meantime, Idaho tax money will be spent fighting this cruel and unconstitutional legislation, when it could be spent on literally anything else.
Trans Team USA duo athlete Chris Mosier said of the bill, “In the midst of a global crisis, the message that’s coming from Idaho right now is that it is a priority to attack trans youth.” He continued, saying “Trans folks in Idaho and across the country have heard lawmakers debate whether or not transgender people should have the same experiences as their peers, … And it doesn’t really matter at this point if the bill gets [enacted] or not, some of the damage has already been done to the trans community.”
These anti-trans bills are heinous and unconstitutional, and it is an act of serious malfeasance that the Idaho legislature is wasting their time on this garbage when they could be providing relief for their citizens. The state legislature has enacted ZERO bills for financial or medical relief, save one: they all agreed to go home early to save themselves.
Idaho democrats, please take note and hammer these officials all the way to election day.
(via HuffPost, image: Shutterstock)
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