Forbing-Orr said five of those 20 requests from minors came after the temporary rule took effect on July 1, but she didn’t have information on the status of those applications.
Peter Renn, counsel in the Western Regional Office of Lambda Legal, criticized the temporary rule as unnecessary, noting there hasn’t been “a lick of evidence” to suggest that minors are somehow improperly or wantonly changing their gender markers on vital documents. Additionally, parental consent is already required before a minor applies for a change, meaning there was no evidence that the rules previously in place infringed on parental rights.
“What’s particularly troubling here is this is perhaps the epitome of a solution in search of a problem,” says Renn. “Because there’s no evidence or indication that the prior rules that were in place [for more than a year, following the court decision] were somehow inadequate, in any way.”
Renn also says that the onus is on the state government to justify any hurdles it throws up that make it harder for transgender individuals to amend their gender markers. And, should either the executive branch or the legislature take more aggressive moves to restrict that ability, the more likely the state risks future legal action being taken against it.
“The court already made very clear that the government can’t put up senseless roadblocks that prevent transgender people from being able to obtain corrected birth certificates that match their gender identity,” he says. “So the state is taking on a significant amount of risk by straying away from the plain language of the order. The further Idaho gets away from the court order, the greater the risk it incurs of being in violation of that order.”