Idaho governor signs two anti-trans bills

Idaho Gov. Brad Little. Photo from campaign website

On March 30, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed two bills into law that restrict the rights of transgender people.

According to CNN, one item ( House Bill 500, also called the Fairness in Women's Sports Act ) prohibits transgender girls from playing on girls' and women's sports teams, while the other ( House Bill 509 ) bars trans people from changing their genders on Idaho birth certificates.

In 2018, a federal court struck down a similar bill that sought to prevent gender from being changed on birth certificates.

Pro-LGBTQ groups swiftly responded to the actions in Idaho.

"Tonight, on the eve of Transgender Day of Visibility and while the United States is overwhelmed with a massive public health crisis, Idaho Governor Brad Little passed legislation targeting some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community—transgender children," said Alex Schmider, GLAAD's associate director of transgender representation. "Although medical experts, sport governing bodies, and Idaho's major employers have spoken out against these two bills, Governor Little has instead sided with discrimination. Now, more than ever, transgender people need to be supported, not subjected to state-sponsored discrimination and suffering."

In a separate press release, National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) Transgender Youth Project Director Asaf Orr also condemned Little's decision. We are disappointed that Governor Little signed such an extreme and mean-spirited law," Orr said. "HB 500 is a direct assault on the health and wellbeing of young transgender Idahoans, who already face enormous challenges.

"This is a heartbreaking day for these young people and their families, who have now been sent a toxic message of rejection and exclusion by elected officials in their own state. We stand with these families and will do all we can to support a legal challenge this hateful law."

According to NCLR, HB 500 is the first bill of its kind to pass a state legislature and the first to be signed into law.

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