On Monday, Idaho’s Governor Brad Little signed into law two anti-transgender bills, giving the state the dubious distinction of being the first to actually enact such legislation. One prohibits trans girls and women from playing sports on teams that align with their gender identity; the other makes it illegal for trans people to change their gender markers on their birth certificates.
Both bills are expected to face challenges in court, since lawmakers passed them despite warnings that they potentially violate the Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and privacy.
In the case of the sports bill, the Idaho Attorney General’s Office told The Advocate that it could conflict with rules set by national sports organizations, in addition to possibly subjecting young people to invasive physical examinations in pursuit of “proof of gender.”
The gender marker bill is in defiance of a 2018 order by a federal judge that said that Idaho cannot “automatically and categorically” prevent people from changing the gender on their birth certificates. The case was brought by two trans women against the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare who said the policy violated their constitutional rights.
“There’s an injunction that already absolutely forbids this policy, and the government can’t enforce this law without violating a court order,” Peter Renn of Lambda Legal, which represented the women, told MagicValley.com. “The ramifications of contempt (of court) are quite furious.”
Idaho’s ACLU said it would gladly fight both measures, telling the Idaho Statesman that,
“The ACLU of Idaho condemns Governor Brad Little’s decision to sign discriminatory, unconstitutional, and deeply hurtful anti-transgender bills into law. Leaders from the business, faith, medical, education and athletics communities will not forget this decision or what it says about the governor’s priorities during a global pandemic. The ACLU will see the governor in court.”