Amid a global pandemic, today Idaho became the first state to pass a ban on trans youth participation athletics into law. An Idaho bill which bars updates to birth certificates was also signed into law. These bills were signed by Governor Brad Little following the harmful actions of the Idaho Legislature to rush these bills though a shortened legislative session. These actions come amid the severe and growing global health crisis, COVID-19, that the federal and state governments are under tremendous pressure to adequately address.

“Passing laws that single out and attacks trans people, and especially trans youth, at time when our world is grappling with an unprecedented global health crisis is irresponsible and wrong,” said Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “Our local and federal government policies and actions must be focused entirely on keeping people safe and healthy, not advancing discrimination and deliberately causing harm.”

Transgender youth, who are most impacted by this legislation, have been leading the way in Idaho and nationally to oppose HB 500 and other bills like it that have been introduced in over a dozen states this year.

“Anti-trans student athlete bills like HB 500 deny trans youth the experiences that all students deserve, and single us out for isolation, bullying, and violence,” said Juniperangelica Cordova, TRUTH Program Senior Organizer. “It is incomprehensible that Governor Little and lawmakers in Idaho would turn a moment of national crisis into an opportunity to attack vulnerable young people. Showing up for trans youth is more important now than ever.”

Transgender Law Center – with TRUTH, our joint youth media organizing program with GSA Network – recently released a resource for journalists covering anti-trans athletics ban bills which has been introduced in over a dozen states this year alone. You can access the resource here.