Bill Banning Transgender Changes to Birth Certificates Passes Idaho Legislature

Idaho - Legislature
The Idaho State Capitol in downtown Boise, Idaho. (Devin Allphin/

Birth certificates in Idaho will continue to accurately record the actual sex of residents born there, according to a bill that just cleared the state legislature and now awaits a signature from Republican Gov. Brad Little.

House Bill 509 forbids altering the sex listed on state birth certificates in the name of “gender identity.” Changes would only be allowed in order to correct errors in “material fact at the time of birth,” or to correct a “clerical or data entry error.”

“The purpose of documenting factual information on vital records is to help the government fulfill one of its most basic duties: protecting the health and safety of its citizens,” the bill declares. “Allowing individuals to alter their vital records, including birth certificates, based upon subjective feelings or experiences undermines the government’s interest in having accurate vital records.”

The bill passed the state Senate on Tuesday after passing the state House last month, CNN reported. LGBT activists have demanded that Little veto the bill; the governor has yet to announce his intentions. 

Critics objected that the bill flies in the face of a 2018 court order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale forcing Idaho to grant requests for sex changes on birth certificates. Idaho Senate Democrat Minority Leader Michelle Stennett complained that HB509 is “unconstitutional and will cost the state a lot of money in court because it could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.” 

In fact, the Constitution contains no language that could be construed as dictating the record-keeping policies of state governments. But that won’t matter if the LGBT lobby convinces the Supreme Court to reinterpret the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s ban on sex discrimination (which was meant strictly as a biological concept by the law’s drafters) as extending to subjective “gender identity.”

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