Skip to main content

Already a subscriber? Make sure to log into your account before viewing this content. You can access your account by hitting the “login” button on the top right corner. Still unable to see the content after signing in? Make sure your card on file is up-to-date.

Idaho Governor Brad Little has signed new legislation that officially modifies the use of names and pronouns for transgender students in schools.

The law, known as Idaho House Bill 538, was passed with significant backing from the state’s Republican-majority Legislature. It stipulates that, starting July 1, educators at both K-12 and collegiate levels are prohibited from “knowingly and intentionally” using a minor’s chosen name or pronouns without written consent from their parents, if these do not correspond to the student’s sex assigned at birth.

Littlebrad 071620getty

The legislation protects school employees from adverse job consequences if they opt to use a student’s legal name or decline to use preferred pronouns. This provision is similarly applied to state government workers, reflecting a broader stance against the mandatory use of transgender individuals’ chosen names or pronouns. “This is a battle line we have to draw,” stated Idaho Rep. Ted Hill, the bill’s sponsor, emphasizing the law as a fundamental First Amendment issue during legislative discussions.

Critics, mainly from the Democratic party, argue the law misinterprets the First Amendment, suggesting it might sanction discrimination or unprofessional behavior in educational environments. “We expect our publicly funded employees to adhere to a certain standard of respect and decency,” countered Idaho state Rep. Lauren Necochea, stressing the importance of respecting individuals’ preferred pronouns and names as part of professional courtesy and decency.

In addition to this pronoun and name usage law, Governor Little has also endorsed legislation that aligns gender identity strictly with biological sex, positioning Idaho among a handful of states with such a definition. This legislative action is part of a broader trend of policies under Little’s administration that include restrictions on transgender athletes and limitations on gender-affirming healthcare.


Keep up to date with our latest videos, news and content