Idaho governor signs into law anti-transgender legislation, affirmative action ban

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo, an American flag hangs inside the rotunda of the Idaho Capitol in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Kimberlee Kruesi, File)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law two anti-transgender bills, making Idaho the first among states that introduced some 40 such bills this year to enact them. The Republican governor on Monday signed a bill that prohibits transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, and another that bans transgender girls and women from competing in women’s sports.

The birth certificate legislation ignores a 2018 federal court ruling that a past Idaho law barring transgender people from making the birth certificate changes was unconstitutional.

The Idaho attorney general’s office said it could cost $1 million if the state had to defend the ban again and lost.

Gov. Little also signed into law legislation banning affirmative action for state agencies, state contracting and public education. The Republican governor on Monday signed the measure that adds a new section to laws that opponents say negates another section prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or age.

The bill originated in the House and was amended in the Senate to avoid losing federal funding.

Backers say the measure is needed so that everybody is treated equally. Opponents say Idaho has a history of discriminatory behavior against marginalized groups that persists, and the measure allows that behavior to continue.

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