During Pride Month 2019, Jax Perez, a gender non-binary employee of the Boise Public Library, was doing their job. When a Library patron told them that it was a "vice" to have Pride flag buttons available at the Library for people to take, Jax said they were sorry that the patron felt that way. "As a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I am sorry that you feel that way," Jax said. Earlier in the month, the Library had advised Jax that they could not use their personal Facebook account to combat transphobic comments online.

Because Jax disclosed their queer identity at work, the Library's director tried to have Jax fired. The Library issued Jax a formal, written warning. The letter warned that unless Jax stayed in the closet and did not make known their identity, the Library could take further disciplinary action, including termination.

Public libraries should be open and welcoming to LGBTQ employees and patrons. People who are queer, trans, and nonbinary should not have to hide who they are to work at and use our libraries and community spaces. With Jax, in March 2020 the ACLU of Idaho filed an employment discrimination complaint with the Idaho Human Rights Commission under the Idaho Human Rights Act and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Attorney(s)

Ritchie Eppink

Date filed

March 31, 2020

Court

Idaho Human Rights Commission

Status

Pending

Case number

E-0320-196; 38C-2020-00236