“Oh, shit,” said Kathy Griesmyer.
That was her honest, first reaction to the news that Idaho had made history Monday by enacting America’s most anti-transgender laws. And he did so the night before the annual observance of the International Transgender Day of Visibility.
Griesmyer is the policy director of the Idaho chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. She had testified before the Idaho House State Affairs Committee in opposition to one of the bills that were signed into law by Gov. Brad Little Monday night, to Griesmyer’s surprise and bitter disappointment, after two solid months of lobbying.
“We have been working on these bills since the beginning of February, trying to educate lawmakers, connect the transgender community to the issues, having hundreds of folks come to the statehouse, share their stories,” Griesmyer told Outsports as a guest on The Trans Sporter Room Podcast.
Among the people who showed up in Idaho was trans athlete Chris Mosier, who tweeted about the news.
Shameful that on the eve of #TDOV @GovernorLittle signed into law two anti-trans bills which will easy cost IDAHO over a million $ in legal fees when we sue (& win) - quite a low blow from someone who “isn’t much of a discrimination guy.”— The Chris Mosier (@TheChrisMosier) March 31, 2020
Griesmyer said in addition to Mosier, the ACLU had help from other “trans community members, their parents, their allies, doctors, medical professionals. We had major businesses in Idaho who opposed them, national businesses, an attorney general who said this bill was unconstitutional, five former AG’s, both Republican and Democratic, asking for vetoes. Everyone was saying, this is not the Idaho way, this is going to cost taxpayer dollars. And yet he just went and signed them into law.”
The two laws, which ban trans girls who are student athletes from competing in girls’ sports and prohibit trans Iowans from changing the gender markers on their birth certificates, are set to go into effect July 1.
Griesmyer told co-hosts Karleigh Webb and myself that the ACLU plans to challenge these laws in court with a lawsuit, and to work with Lambda Legal to try to help transgender Iowans with gender marker changes before July. She also encourages listeners to boycott Idaho and its products, to send a message to Gov. Little.
Those who want to contact the governor himself can do so at 208-334-2100 and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Griesmyer can be reached at 208-344-7201, and KGriesmyer@acluidaho.org
Lambda Legal can be reached through its help desk site by clicking here.
The Trans Sporter Room podcast returns with another episode Wednesday in its regular slot.