Idaho Passes Laws Combatting LGBTQ Ideology

Idaho Passes Laws Combatting LGBTQ Ideology

Gov. Brad Little of Idaho signed two bills into law this week that combat LGBTQ ideology. House Bills 421 and 538 clearly define male and female and protect employees from being forced to call someone by a name or pronoun that is not consistent with their biological sex.

HB 421 declares that there are two sexes: male and female. The bill says that sex and gender are the same thing, and can be observed clinically before or at birth.

“Confusion and ambiguities surrounding the definitions of sex, male, female, and related terms can hinder individual efforts to enjoy equal treatment under the law,” the bill reads. “Physical differences between males and females are enduring, and the two sexes are not fungible.”

The bill states that separating sports teams, programs, sleeping arrangements, bathrooms and private spaces by biological sex is not unequal treatment under the law.

It goes on to clearly define terms such as man, woman, boy, girl, father and mother based on biological facts. These definitions apply to all rules and policies of the state of Idaho.

The second bill, HB 538, protects employees of the government as well as employees and students of public schools and institutions of higher education from being forced to use a person’s “preferred pronouns” if they are not consistent with their gender. It cites the ruling in 303 Creative v. Elenis, in which the Supreme Court ruled that no government actor should seek to “compel a person to speak its message when he would prefer to remain silent, or to force an individual to include other ideas with his own speech that he would prefer not to include.”

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp commended the Idaho legislature and Gov. Little for signing HB 538 into law. “No one should lose their job or face punishment at school for declining to say something they believe is false,” he said. “Words and language carry meaning, and when used properly, they tell the truth about reality, feelings, and beliefs.”

HB 538 says that forcing employees to use pronouns not consistent with someone’s biological sex is government-compelled speech and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. It also says that teachers and other employees at public schools and institutions of higher education may not refer to a child by a name or pronouns inconsistent with their biological sex without written permission from their parent.

Both laws will take effect July 1.

“Forcing individuals to say things that are untrue—such as inaccurate names, pronouns, and titles—imposes real harm on the speaker,” Sharp said. “In no world is it acceptable for schools to force good teachers out of a job all for the sake of promoting gender ideology to vulnerable children. Now and always, there are only two sexes—male and female—and denying this basic truth only hurts kids. With this legislation, Idaho is rightfully stepping into the gap to protect children and freedom of conscience.

“All of society benefits when freedom of speech and conscience flourish,” he added.

Above: Idaho Gov. Brad Little speaking at Conservative Political Action Conference in 2023.

Photo: Zuma Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

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