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Idaho House passes two transgender bills; major Idaho businesses urge Senate to reject them

Idaho's House of Representatives has passed two bills affecting transgender people—one that blocks transgender people from changing their birth certificates, and one that blocks transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams.

The fate of the bills now lies with the state Senate, and some of Idaho's largest employers have some words for the lawmakers.


Most states allow people to change the sex on their birth certificate, just as people can change their name or parentage after a legal name change, adoption, or other major life change. Birth certificates are used as the legal determiner of gender for schools, healthcare, and the law—including legal IDs like driver's licenses—which is why it's important for transgender people to have the option of changing them.

Ohio and Tennessee are the only other states that don't allow transgender people to augment their birth certificates.

The text of the new law says "there is a compelling interest in maintaining accurate, quantitative, biology-based material facts on Idaho certificates of birth that provide material facts fundamental to the performance of government functions that secure the public health and safety."

However, Idaho's law flies in the face of a 2018 federal court ruling forbidding the state from blocking transgender citizens from changing their birth certificates. That court ruling stated, "A rule providing an avenue to obtain a birth certificate with a listed sex that aligns with an individual's gender identity promotes the health, well-being, and safety of transgender people without impacting the rights of others."

Debates over transgender rights have far-reaching effects, and not o on transgender people. Major Idaho companies Chobani, Clif Bar, HP, and Micron all have a vested interest in the law, as their ability to recruit employees can be affected by lawmakers' decisions.

In a join letter sent March 2 to Senate State Affairs Committee Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, and Vice Chairman Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs, the companies wrote:

Dear Senators Lodge and Harris:

We write to share our concerns regarding legislation that recently passed the House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate. Specifically, this includes House Bills 500 and 509.

As businesses, we're committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion, and we are very proud to call Idaho home. It's a privilege and honor to be ambassadors for the state in our daily interactions with customers, communities, and companies across the nation and around the world. We proudly talk about its strong and growing economy, and how it's one of the best places in the nation to do business and live. Most important, we talk about the welcoming, big-hearted spirit of its people, and why our employees are so grateful to live and raise their families here.

This is a well-earned reputation and these bills targeting transgender Idahoans puts that reputation at risk and goes against creating a workforce that welcomes all. Passage of these bills could hurt our ability to attract and retain top talent to Idaho, and it could damage Idaho's ability to attract new businesses and create new jobs.

With respect, we ask you to support all of Idaho's diverse communities and reject these measures.

Sincerely,

Chobani

Clif Bar & Company

HP

Micron

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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