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Gov. Brad Little signs bill barring compelled use of preferred pronouns in Idaho schools

Brad Little
Posted at 12:07 PM, Apr 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-10 22:49:19-04

BOISE, Idaho — Schools in Idaho will soon be unable to require their staff or students to use the preferred name and pronouns for transgender and nonbinary students.

On Monday, April 8, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 538 into law. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Ted Hill, previously passed the House and Senate with overwhelming support from Idaho's Republican legislators.

RELATED | Idaho Senate passes bills on pronoun use and gender definition

House Bill 538 bars public institutions, including schools, from requiring employees to refer to a person by a preferred name or pronoun beyond the gender they were assigned at birth.

Additionally, if a teacher is disciplined for refusing to use a student’s preferred name or pronoun, the new legislation gives them the ability to sue their school district. House Bill 538 will take effect on July 1.

The full-text version of House Bill 538 is available here.

“Governor Little should be ashamed of ending this session by signing highly controversial and harmful bills that target LGBTQ+ Idahoans. People from every corner of the state showed up at every possible opportunity to warn about the impacts of HB 421 and HB 538, and to respond by completely ignoring valid concerns is callous and cruel. We’re heading in the wrong direction. Our state needs more kindness, compassion, understanding – not permission to discriminate against others.”

Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman, Idaho State Director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates

Editor's Note: The headline and portions of this article have been updated to reflect the fact that the bill bans compelling public officials to use preferred pronouns. It does not ban the use of preferred pronouns all together.