by Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 to move forward a bill that would lift regulations in public contracts mandating contractors to provide multi-occupancy restrooms for transgender people.
Senate Bill 1016, brought by Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle, applies to public contracts that are either state or locally funded. The bill would not apply to contracts that receive federal funding.
The bill does not prohibit public works contractors from providing separate bathrooms if they choose to do so.
Herndon told the committee that contractors are being asked to sign contracts mandating they will provide separate multi-use bathrooms, showers, or other facilities that match the person’s gender, rather than biological sex.
Luis Munilla, a contractor in Bonner County, testified Wednesday saying he was asked to sign a contract with the mandates for a project he bid on. However, that project was federally funded, so the bill wouldn’t apply to his case.
Munilla told the committee that signing the contract was contrary to his religious beliefs, and he believes it was discrimination.
“Women are losing their rights in sports, not feeling safe because men can come in whenever they want,” Munilla told the committee.
Mae Roos testified in opposition to the bill, saying she thought it would be harmful to transgender people.
The bill must now go to the Senate floor for a vote.