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BOISE – Today, the Idaho Senate ignored unprecedented opposition to pass HB 500, the bill that would ban transgender girls from playing with their peers in women’s sports, sending it to the governor’s desk for a veto or to be signed into law. This is a move that flies in the face of massive public outcry from Idaho businesses, community members, and even Nike-sponsored transgender athlete Chris Mosier, who took time to fly to Idaho to speak out against this bill. Recently, several other well-known people, such as former popular television show host Montel Williams, have condemned the Idaho Senate’s decision to gather so many people together and legislate a ban on trans girls in the midst of a serious global pandemic.

“It’s clear that our legislators are more interested in pushing their transphobia through the legislature, regardless of who it damages, than in listening to the facts,” said Mistie Tolman, Idaho State Director at PPVNH. “We have worked to appeal to their sense of compassion for how transgender people will be treated, how they will be ostracized further by this legislation, and the very true danger this would pose to a population of their constituency that is already fighting against being othered. Transgender people, and transgender youth in particular, just want to be able to live their lives free from harassment and with community, something that playing on the sports team that matches their identity has already provided them in Idaho for years. Today, instead of acknowledging their humanity, the Senate chose to give the trans community yet another cold shoulder. 

“We call on Governor Brad Little to right the many wrongs that the transgender community has endured during this painful legislative session. It’s time to put people over politics and look at this bill for what it really is — an attack on transgender people — and stop it.” 

Some Twitter support: 

“Today the #IDLeg is convening and will likely pass the first anti-trans bill of 2020. An absurd bill that will bar girls who are trans and intersex from sports. It will be challenged. It will waste resources. And it will hurt kids. Please veto HB500, @GovernorLittle.” — By Chase Strangio, nationally renowned transgender attorney.

“Dear Mr. Speaker (@scottbedke) and Mr. Leader (@IDHouseCaucus) - I hear the #idleg will consider #HB500 today. The notion the Idaho House would spend time during #CoronavirusOutbreak looking for new ways to persecute transgender people is just beyond the pale. Don’t do this.” — By Montel Williams, of the Montel Williams Show.

To everyone in Idaho who has been fighting #hb500 & other anti-trans bills, I’m with you.

I know this has been exhausting & I appreciate your work in fighting against discrimination. Sending lots of loveBy Chris Mosier, pro athlete

PPVNH is a proud part of Movement Toward Freedom, a coalition that also includes the ACLU of Idaho, Add the Words, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Legal Voice, and Beloved Bodies. Movement Toward Freedom brought Nike-sponsored trans male professional athlete Chris Mosier to speak against these bills in a rally in the same week that four of Idaho’s largest and most powerful businesses wrote an open letter to legislators saying their rhetoric in proposing this bill makes Idaho look unwelcoming and unattractive to out-of-state potential employees.