Idaho gov signs bill barring transgender students from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity
Idaho Gov. Brad Little, R., signed legislation this week, barring transgender students from using school facilities consistent with their gender identity.
Idaho is the third state this week to enact such a law which will take effect on July 1st, joining Republicans Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The new law will also prevent transgender public school students from using multi-person restrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity and does not extend to single-occupancy facilities.
Furthermore, it prohibits transgender students from sleeping in the same room as their peers or sharing a bathroom or changing area during overnight field trips authorized by the school.
“Requiring students to share restrooms and changing facilities with 25 members of the opposite biological sex generates potential embarrassment, shame, and psychological injury to students, as well as increasing the likelihood of sexual assault, molestation, rape, voyeurism, and exhibitionism,” text of the legislation states. “Providing separate public school restrooms and changing facilities for the different biological sexes is a long-standing and widespread practice protected by federal law, state law, and case law.”
A student who encounters a transgender student using bathroom or locker room facilities that are inconsistent with their biological sex assigned at birth is able to sue the school within four years.
“Any student who prevails in an action brought under this chapter may recover from the defendant public school five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each instance that the student encountered a person of the opposite sex while accessing a public school restroom, changing facility, or sleeping quarters designated for use by aggrieved student’s sex,” the law states.
Huckabee Sanders and Reynolds on Wednesday signed a similar bill into law that bars transgender people from using school facilities consistent with their gender identity.
Reynolds on Wednesday signed two laws restricting transgender students from using bathrooms that are consistent with their gender identity as well as banning gender-affirming medical care. Iowa’s law also mandates that students defer to parental consent for special accommodations like using a faculty or single-occupancy restroom.
Despite the backlash over North Carolina’s now-repealed bathroom bill, there has been a resurgence of similar restrictions proposed by GOP lawmakers. At least 17 bills related to who can use bathrooms have been introduced in 11 states so far this year.
Similar laws have been enacted in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Lawsuits have been filed challenging the Oklahoma and Tennessee restrictions.
The bill advanced as lawmakers are considering a more far-reaching bathroom bill that would make it a crime for a transgender person to use a public restroom corresponding with their gender identity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.