Lawmaker blasts gender-neutral restrooms, pushes for Boise State defunding

(UPDATED, Oct. 10, with Christensen saying he will donate feminine hygiene products to local shelters.)

A second conservative legislator is pushing colleagues to defund Boise State University.

Decrying what he calls President Marlene Tromp’s “atrocious leftist agenda,” Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, posted a photo on his campaign Facebook page of a gender-neutral restroom at Boise State.

Christensen wrote, in part: “There are two toilet stalls, a urinal, plenty of tampons/pads, and a sink. I wasn’t aware that Idaho taxpayers also paid for tampons and pads. … I have had it with this immoral garbage. Yes, this is going on in an Idaho university! Does this not encourage sexual assaults? Does this not set up men and women for false accusations?”

Not surprisingly, the response has been sharply divided.

Christensen’s Facebook post has generated more than 400 comments since Friday — with some commenters supporting Christensen’s push to defund the state’s largest university, and others mocking the first-term lawmaker.

“People pee! People get their periods!” said one commenter. “Has no one ever explained this phenomenon to you? Maybe you should go to college and learn about it.”

The controversy has its own Twitter hashtag: #padsformadchad, and some opponents mailed tampons and pads to Christensen.

On Wednesday, Christensen was back on social media, saying he planned to donate all of these feminine hygiene products to area shelters.

Two weeks ago, Rep. Tammy Nichols floated the defunding idea in an interview with Breitbart News, a conservative website. “We have these kids that we’re paying to be educating and they’re being indoctrinated,” said Nichols, R-Middleton, “and I think it’s going to be taking away the funding in order to change the dynamics of what’s happening in our education system.”

In July, Christensen and Nichols were among 28 House Republicans who wrote a letter to Tromp, urging the new president to disavow a series of diversity and inclusion programs at Boise State.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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