On Thursday (23 March), Republican Governor Brad Little of Idaho signed Senate Bill 1100 into law, restricting transgender students from using bathrooms that align with their gender.

The new law, which effectively bars trans youth in the state from using the correct bathroom, allows students to take legal action against public schools that allow trans students to use facilities aligned with their gender, using an outdated definition of “biological” sex as its justification. The law also prohibits multi-gender sleeping facilities or changing rooms.

The bill’s sponsors baselessly claimed that it would “bring peace” to Idaho schools and school boards, saying that allowing trans people to use the bathroom harmed student education. However, there is no evidence to suggest that trans people using the bathroom assigned to their gender identity threatens the safety of students.


The new law will come into effect on 1 July, and schools found in breach of the law could be forced to pay up to $5,000 in damages to plaintiffs for each person “of the opposite sex” found in the facility.

Democratic Idaho senator Rick Just said he believed the bill could harm the financial well-being of public schools. He also expressed concern that encouraging citizens to seek damages whenever they feel aggrieved in the slightest way is not helpful.

The Human Rights Campaign criticised Governor Little’s decision to sign the bill into law, stating that it will make life harder for LGBTQ+ students. A spokesperson for the organisation said that the bill “will not accomplish anything other than to further alienate and stigmatise those already on the margins.”

This bill is just one of many anti-trans bathroom bills proposed across the United States, with recent data suggesting that over 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been filed by state lawmakers – the majority of which are Republicans – attempting to impede LGBTQ+ rights.

Many of these bills were filed in 2023 and focus on things like anti-drag bans, trans bathroom and pronoun bills, and restricting access to gender-affirming care.