Human Rights Campaign Slams Idaho Bill That Prohibits Transgender Students from Using Bathrooms Consistent with Their Gender Identity

by HRC Staff

Boise, Idaho — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — slammed today’s vote in the Idaho House to pass S. 1100, legislation that prohibits transgender public school students from using bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

“Idaho has a track record of discriminating against transgender people, and yet again Idaho has passed a law singling out a vulnerable group of kids and harming them for no reason other than dislike, disapproval, and misunderstanding. Preventing children from using bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity will not solve any of the challenges facing Idaho families today. The only thing this bill will accomplish is to further alienate and stigmatize vulnerable kids simply trying to navigate childhood and their adolescence. Idaho is yet again choosing to deprive transgender kids of their dignity and inviting another lawsuit in which Idaho can waste taxpayer funds defending indefensible legislation in court.”

Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel

Across the country, anti-equality politicians are working to pass bills to discriminate against and disrupt the lives of transgender people. Since the reviled HB2 was passed, and subsequently partially-repealed, in North Carolina, only three states – Tennessee, Alabama, and Oklahoma – have passed legislation mandating anti-transgender discrimination in bathrooms. Idaho has faced multiple lawsuits in recent years over anti-transgender legislation related to sports and identity documents.

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.

A few months into 2023, HRC is already tracking more than 410 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 175 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.

So far this year, HRC is tracking:

  • More than 100 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; five have already become law, in Mississippi, Tennessee, South Dakota, Utah, and Arkansas.

  • More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year (more than 25)

  • And 65+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 25 of which are specifically anti-trans.

Nearly 1 in 5 hate crimes are now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias and the last two years have been the deadliest for transgender people, especially Black transgender women, we have seen since HRC began tracking fatal violence against the community. Reports of violence and intimidation against LGBTQ+ people have been making news across the country – with white nationalists targeting a Pride event in Idaho and Proud Boys crashing Drag Queen story hours at local libraries to shout homophobic and transphobic slurs. Finally, anti-LGBTQ+ stigma also drives alarmingly high rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, but LGBTQ+ youth who have at least one accepting adult in their life were 40% less likely to attempt suicide.

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