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Idaho Senate passes bills on pronoun use and gender definition

Posted at 10:55 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 00:55:25-04

BOISE, Idaho — On Tuesday, the Idaho State Legislature passed two bills related to gender identity and pronoun usage. House Bill 538, approved by the Senate with a vote of 25 in favor and 9 against, aims to prohibit government entities, including public schools, from compelling employees to recognize students' preferred names or pronouns if they do not align with their assigned gender at birth, except with parental permission.

Another bill, House Bill 421, passed the Senate with a vote of 26 in favor and 8 against. This bill seeks to define sex strictly as "male" or "female" in state statutes, potentially altering existing laws concerning sex and gender.

Advocacy groups such as the Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates have criticized both bills, saying in a statement, "These bills are not about objective accuracy and they aren’t about free speech. HB 421 and HB 538 are bills attempting to erase trans, nonbinary and intersex people in Idaho – which is not only wrong, it’s impossible."

With both bills now awaiting the governor's approval, the Idaho State Legislature is set to reconvene on Wednesday.