Idaho’s Senate Republicans Shelve a Bill that Would Criminalize Gender-Affirming Treatment

By GLAAD |
March 17, 2022

On Tuesday, Idaho’s Senate Republicans rejected H.B. 675, which would have criminalized parents who seek gender-affirming treatment for their children, and the medical providers who treat them. The legislation would have made a felony of treating a transgender child or assisting the child to leave Idaho for the purpose of seeking treatment in another state.

Idaho Senate Republicans released a statement that read in part, “HB 675 undermines parental rights and allows the government to interfere in parents' medical decision-making authority for their children.… It is against medical advice in Idaho and is counterindicated by the Idaho Medical Association (IMA). Among other provisions, HB 675 outlaws gender-affirming surgery for transgender minors; and the IMA has confirmed that this is ‘already outside the generally accepted standard of care and is not being done by physicians in Idaho.’”

Idaho HB675

The bill is among 201 pieces of legislation targeting LGBTQ Americans in states across the country. Twenty-nine bills target the evidence-based care of transgender youth that has been proven to be safe and to protect trans youth from self-harm and reduce suicidal ideation.

GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis said, “Idaho’s H.B. 675 was an extreme and unnecessary example of the inhumane denial of life-saving treatment for transgender youth. Every major medical organization in the United States supports gender-affirming care for transgender youth and opposes bills seeking to criminalize it. It’s unconscionable that any lawmaker would threaten medical care that has been thoroughly peer-reviewed by mainstream medical organizations while professing to protect young people. Republicans driving anti-trans bills forward in other states should listen to the  Idaho Senate Republicans who rightfully determined that ‘the best decisions regarding medical treatment options for children are made by parents, with the benefit of their physician’s advice and expertise.’”

This year is already a record-setting year for state legislation targeting LGBTQ people, with more than 150 anti-LGBTQ bills proposed, and this follows 2021’s record of proposed bills targeting transgender Americans’ access to education, athletics, healthcare, and bathrooms. These bills are being introduced despite the fact that more than three in four Americans (76%) favor laws that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans from discrimination in jobs, housing, and public accommodation. Fewer than one in five Americans (19%) oppose nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans. And many bills use identical language proposed by national groups with long histories of fighting LGBTQ equality.

Every major medical association including the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics supports gender-affirming care for transgender youth and opposes bills seeking to criminalize it.

For more on anti-LGBTQ and anti-transgender legislation go to Freedom For All Americans Legislative Tracker. LGBTQ people and allies in Idaho can contact the Idaho State Representative who introduced the shelved HB675 (Skaug) and the anti-LGBTQ library bill HB666 (DeMordaunt) here: 

Bruce SkaugBSkaug@house.idaho.gov; 208-466-0030 
Gayann DeMordaunt; GDemordaunt@house.idaho.gov; 208-332-1000