Human Rights Campaign Slams Move to Pass Legislation Restricting Access to Mental Health Care in Idaho

by HRC Staff

Boise, Idaho — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — criticized the Idaho House of Representatives today for passing House Bill 63, legislation that will allow health care professionals to deny mental health services based on personal belief rather than patient need.

Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow issued the following statement today:

“It is disturbing that Idaho politicians are choosing to prioritize the personal beliefs of health care providers above the urgent medical needs of patients. Religious freedom is a central tenet of our society, and it is entirely consistent with ensuring that everyone is able to access health care when needed. Creating a license to discriminate, including against LGBTQ+ people, sets a dangerous precedent for all Idahoans.. The shortage of mental health professionals is already at a crisis point and this legislation will unnecessarily further curtail access. Idaho deserves better.”

Less than two months into 2023, HRC is already tracking more than 340 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 150 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:

  • 90 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; two have already become law, in Utah and South Dakota,

  • More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,

  • And 28 anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 10 of which are specifically anti-trans.

House Bill 63 now heads to the Idaho Senate for further consideration.

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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