Idaho: Governor signs bill that restricts transgender students’ bathroom use

Republican Gov. Brad Little of Idaho signed a bill this week banning transgender students in the state from using public school restrooms that do not match the sex assigned at birth.

Senate Bill 1100, effective July 1, requires public schools to provide separate toilets, changing rooms, showers, changing rooms, and accommodations for students in the state. This restriction does not apply to single-person restrooms. The bill also requires that reasonable accommodations be made for students who are unwilling or unable to use multi-person restrooms and changing facilities.

The bill states, “Requiring students to share restrooms and changing facilities with members of the opposite sex can cause embarrassment, shame, and emotional harm to students.” I’m here.

Under the law, students can take legal action against a school if it permits the opposite sex to use its premises or if it “fails to take reasonable steps” to prevent its use. I can. those facilities.

Students who win private lawsuits receive $5,000 from the public school system for each time they see a “person of the opposite sex” in a sexist facility or bedroom, and school liability for psychological, emotional, or physical harm. You can receive monetary damages from .

Advocates have worked for years to combat bathroom bills like the one passed in Idaho, denouncing them as needless and harmful attacks on humanity for transgender students.

Democratic Senator Rick Just told CNN on Saturday that he voted against the bill primarily to allow people to file private lawsuits against the school system. . “I don’t think it helps to encourage citizens to claim damages whenever they are even slightly offended,” he told CNN in an email.

Republican Rep. Ted Hill, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the bill would ultimately “bring peace” between schools, school boards and parents, instead focusing on student education. said it would help.

“The most important part of this law was to recognize the rights of everyone,” Hill told CNN in an email. We acknowledged the right to be safe and secure in vulnerable places, and the right of everyone else to feel safe, secure and comfortable, where they are most vulnerable.”

Little did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday’s bill.

After the bill passed, the United States’ largest LGBTQ advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, condemned Little, saying that “LGBTQ+ people in Idaho deserve a chance to live with dignity and respect.”

“Unfortunately, the legislation that Governor Little is about to sign will make life more difficult for LGBTQ+ people across the state,” said Kathryn Oakley, the group’s legislative director and senior counselor, in a statement. Stated. “These bills accomplish nothing but further marginalize and stigmatize the already marginalized people in this state.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2023 will see more “toilet bills” submitted nationwide than in any previous year so far.

The Idaho bill follows similar bills signed last week by Republican governors of Arkansas and Iowa.

On Tuesday, Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill banning transgender people from using toilets that do not match the gender listed on their birth certificate. , Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill banning transgender people from using school restrooms that do not match the gender they were assigned at birth.

Transgender Americans make up a small percentage of U.S. children.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that less than 2% of high school students identify as transgender.

Health care experts say the kinds of bills being pushed by Republicans are likely to further ostracize transgender children.

The political debate over restrooms available to trans people began in 2016 when North Carolina enacted a law requiring people in government-operated facilities to use restrooms and changing rooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate. exploded in The question was multiple rooms. The measure was heavily criticized by companies and supporters and was later repealed.

Alongside transgender legislation, Little signed House Bill 186. This allows executions by firing squad in Idaho if the state cannot obtain the drugs needed for lethal injections. Several states have suspended executions as they struggle to procure the drugs needed for lethal injections.

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