The ACLU of Idaho strives for a state free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This means an individual who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community can live openly, where our identities, relationships and families are respected, and where there is fair treatment on the job, in schools, housing, public places, health care and government programs.

Basic Rights and Liberties In Idaho

Housing, Employment and Public Accomodations:

Currently there are 12 cities which have protections for people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, and public accomodations. These laws are called nondiscrimination ordinances. 

  • Sandpoint (passed in 2011)
  • Boise (passed in 2012)
  • Ketchum (passed in 2013)
  • Moscow (passed in 2013)
  • Coeur d'Alene (passed in 2013)
  • Pocatello (passed in 2013)
  • Lewiston (passed in 2014)
  • Victor (passed in 2014)
  • Driggs (passed in 2015)
  • Hailey (passed in 2015)
  • Bellevue (passed in 2015)
  • Meridian (passed in 2018)
  • Idaho Falls (passed with protections that include protections in public accommodations in 2020)

Only two counties in Idaho have NDO’s. Ada county passed a non-discrimination ordinance in 2020 based on sexual orientation or gender identity and applies to areas like employment, housing and public accommodations. Latah county also has an anti-discrimination ordinance in place but it only covers county employees.

In order to help you exercise these rights, if you feel you have been discriminated against, file a police report in the city where the potential discrimination occured. If the potential  discrimination happened in a city without a nondiscrimination ordinance, you may not be protected. Contact our office and the Idaho Human Rights Commission for more information.

Does Idaho have Statewide Protections? 

Currently there are no official statewide protections for people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The ACLU of Idaho works closely with Add the Words, Planned Parenthood, Pride Foundation and other LGBTQ organizations to continue to try to pass inclusive statewide legislation.


It has been legal for same sex couples to be married in the state of Idaho since Oct 15, 2014. At the federal level, all same sex couples have the right to marry, according to the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, received on June 26th, 2015. 


LGBTQ students have the right to:

  • attend school, free of harassment due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, 
  • not be "outed" at school or to their parents or family
  •  organize Gay-Straight Alliances and other clubs
  • the same 1st amendment rights to freedom of speech as other students
  • wear the gendered type of clothes that they feel comfortable in at prom or other dances
  • take a same sex date to prom or other dances.

See more about your rights as a student here.

The rights of transgender students to use gendered facilities that match their gender identity are still being battled in the courts, but if you are a transgender student or the parent of a transgender student and are concerned about the ability to use gendered facilities, please contact us. 

Transgender Rights:

Idaho process for an adult name change that is not because of marriage:
In order to change your name legally in Idaho without a marriage certificate, you need to have a court ordered legal name change document. In order to get this document, several steps have to be taken. There is a set of forms that walk you through the documents and processes. The fee for these processes is $96.00 as of July 1st, 2012, plus the cost of publishing the name change in the paper for four consecutive weeks, which the fee depends on the paper (Idaho Statesman quoted $130, alternative papers run a little less, Boise Weekly was $87). The final step is to attend a hearing for your name change, at which, if granted the court approved legal name change document is given. 


Documents on which a name change is possible in Idaho:

Driver’s Licenses: 

Once you receive a court ordered name change document, Idaho allows for a name change on your driver’s license, vehicle title and registration, IRS, voter registration, passport, as well as notifying banks, credit card companies and insurance for $29.95 Fill out the online form here. (After this is completed, you can change your Social Security card by re-applying at here with your passport or drivers license or ID and it’s free).  
Employment Documents (private and public sector): 
The employment records are not difficult if you have your SS card changed, and do the plethora name changes which include the IRS (above). It should be self changing once those documents have been changed and the process has been completed.   
Birth Certificates: 
Name changes on birth certificates have to be amended through Idaho's Health and Welfare Department’s office of vital statistics. A letter needs to be prepared for the request, along with a government issued ID and supporting documentation (court ordered legal name change document). It costs $13.00 and still could be rejected. There is no policy about whether or not the department will grant your request, but you can appeal if they deny it. The other downside to this is the “old” name is printed below the “new” name, meaning that if a birth certificate is needed for use, it will most likely "out" the person as being transgender. 
Academic Records/Medical Records: 
Name changes for previous records are usually up to the institution/organization and may be as easy as an email asking for the change to be made. Contact the individual institution/organization for the correct way to go about changing your name in academic records and medical records. 

Idaho Policies on Allowing Gender Marker Changes:

Drivers License: 
To complete a gender marker change on many documents, a government issued ID that reflects your desired gender and appearance is needed. In Idaho, the policy for the Department of Transportation requires a signed affidavit from a physician stating the completed transition of an individual to the gender they are wishing to change. Besides the visit to the doctor in order to sign the affidavit, a notary must be present and notarize the document. 
The affidavit needed for your driver’s license is not enough to change your passport or Social Security card. If you add the following information to the physician’s affidavit, it would also satisfy the requirements for a US Passport and Social Security gender marker change. You also need a government issued ID to reflect your current physical appearance. You can find the full list of requirements at this website. If you are in the process of transitioning, then you will only be issued a two year passport, needing to be updated after fully transitioning. The gender reassignment is not specified, and is up to a doctors’ discretion.  
Social Security Card: 
The process for changing your gender marker on your SS card is similar (and free) to the name change process, only needs to be completed after changing a government issued ID. The eligible documents that are available for transgender individuals in Idaho are a 10 year valid passport, a court order directing legal recognition of change of sex, or a medical certification of appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition in the form of an original letter from a licensed physician (amended birth certificates are also acceptable, but if you were born in Idaho it is not possible to get the gender marker on your birth certificate amended). It is also helpful for all those documents to have already been edited to the correct name. The process can be found here. Additional information about SS cards and gender markers can be found here.  
Birth Certificates: 
Any Idahoan that desires to change their gender marker on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity can do so through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. View the forms on the IDHW website. Despite attempts by the Idaho legislature to push discriminatory laws that deny transgender people the opportunity to change their gender marker, the federal court upheld its decision and warned Idaho’s government on its violation of the original court order and blatant discrimination against the transgender community.