Idaho’s SB 1100, colloquially referred to as the “bathroom bill,” has been passed by the state’s House of Representatives, and is now awaiting action from Governor Brad Little. If signed into law, the bill will require transgender individuals to use the restroom or locker room that corresponds to the gender listed on their birth certificate.
The measure, which was passed by a vote of 56-14, has been the subject of much debate since its introduction in February. Supporters have argued that the bill is necessary to ensure the safety of all individuals, including transgender citizens, by preventing would-be predators from exploiting gender-neutral bathrooms. Critics, however, have argued that the bill is discriminatory and will only serve to further marginalize an already vulnerable group.
Idaho’s Attorney General, Lawrence Wasden, has alleged that the bill could potentially conflict with the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. In addition, several advocacy groups have threatened legal action should the legislation become law.
Despite the controversy, the bill has garnered considerable support in the state’s House of Representatives. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative Julianne Young, has stated that the bill is about “dignity and safety,” and not about discrimination.
Should Governor Little sign the bill into law, it would join a number of other recent pieces of legislation that aim to restrict the rights of transgender individuals. However, it remains to be seen what action, if any, the Governor will take. In the meantime, the bill has been met with both praise and criticism, with both sides steadfast in their convictions.