BOISE — Four of Idaho's major employers have come out against bills that would block transgender people from changing their birth certificates and ban transgender girls and women from playing on female high school and college sports teams.
In a letter sent March 2 to Senate State Affairs Committee Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, and Vice Chairman Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs, Chobani, Clif Bar, HP and Micron expressed concern these bills could hurt their ability to recruit employees.
Chobani and Clif Bar have major factories in Twin Falls. HP and Micron are technology companies and big employers in the Boise area. Idaho National Laboratory Director Mark Peters sent a letter to House and Senate leadership Tuesday expressing similar concerns about some of the Legislature's discussions this year, although he didn't call out the two bills explicitly as they did.
Both bills have already passed the House but haven't gotten a hearing yet in the Senate.
The full letter is below:
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.
Clif Bar & Company