Human Rights Campaign Denounces Idaho Bill Allowing Taxpayer Dollars to Be Used to Discriminate Against Transgender People

by HRC Staff

"This Law is Blatant Discrimination, Plain and Simple, and Expressly Allowing Government Contractors to Spend Taxpayer Dollars Discriminating Against Transgender People is Insulting and Absurd"

Boise, Idaho — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — is speaking out against today’s vote in the Idaho Senate to approve S. 1016, legislation that expressly allows public works contractors to refuse to provide transgender people access to bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. The bill now awaits consideration by the Idaho House.

Human Rights State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement today:

“This law is blatant discrimination, plain and simple, and expressly allowing government contractors to spend taxpayer dollars discriminating against transgender people is insulting and absurd. Refusing to allow transgender people to use the bathroom that is consistent with their gender identity will not raise wages, lower costs, or make life easier on anyone living in Idaho. The only thing it will accomplish is to further demonize and alienate people who are just trying to live their lives and contribute to their communities – something the Idaho legislature unfortunately has done time and time again. It’s wrong and the Idaho House should refuse to spend one more minute of taxpayer-funded time in the legislature on this discriminatory bill.”

Across the country, anti-equality politicians are working to pass bills to discriminate against and disrupt the lives of transgender people. By making it impossible for doctors to provide care for their patients, transgender youth are denied the age-appropriate, best practice, medically-necessary, gender-affirming care that one study found reduces the risk of moderate or severe depression by 60% and suicidality by 73%.

Since the reviled HB2 was passed, and subsequently partially-repealed, in North Carolina, only three states – Tennessee, Alabama, and Oklahoma – have passed legislation mandating anti-transgender discrimination in bathrooms.

While “bathroom bills'' were very popular in 2016, the international condemnation heaped upon HB2 dissuaded many other states — including Texas — from advancing their own legislation. The Associated Press projected that HB2 passed in 2016 could have cost North Carolina $3.76 billion over 10 years from loss of business opportunities and impact the lives of countless students. Furthermore, legislation attacking transgender refuses to serve the major interests and needs of communities and families, who now pay the price as the consequences of failed leadership across the state. Transgender youth are denied their right to a public education when they’re prevented from accessing restroom facilities consistent with their gender identity, and “bathroom bills” are a violation of both Title IX and the U.S. Constitution.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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