FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2019 file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. Three Connecticut girls who participate on high school track teams have filed a federal discrimination complaint against a statewide policy on transgender athletes, saying it has cost them top finishes in competitions and possibly college scholarships. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File)
Despite the issue being shifted to the background, the fight to keep boys from competing in girl’s sports through the claim of having the gender identity of a female is still being fought. It would appear that in Idaho, that battle has been won for athletic girls. At least, for now.
According to the New York Times, Idaho has become the first state to ban boys identifying as girls from competing in girl’s sports:
Idaho has become the first state in the United States to bar transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s sports and to legalize the practice of asking girls and women to undergo sex testing in order to compete.
The house bill, known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, was signed by Gov. Brad Little on Monday. Governor Little also signed a bill that prohibits transgender people from changing their birth certificates to match their gender identities.
While many states have introduced bills to restrict the participation of transgender athletes, Idaho is the first state to have passed such legislation into law.
Idaho Senator Lee Heider weighed in after the Fairness In Women’s Sports Act became law, signaling that reality is reality no matter who says otherwise.
“Boys are boys and girls are girls,” State Senator Lee Heider said after the bills passed through the Senate two weeks ago. “No doctor, no judge, no Department of Health and Welfare is going to change that reality.”
Rep. Lee Ehardt, a former NCAA women’s basketball coach turned lawmaker who drafted the bill, also embraced the reality of the situation in her comments about the new law.
“We physically cannot compete against biological boys, we just cannot, and once those opportunities are lost, they are gone, you cannot get those back,” Ehardt said in a telephone interview according to the Times. “This could literally tear teams and communities apart.”
It’s likely that the fight isn’t done. You can bet your bottom dollar that activist groups will now rally to have the bill ruled unconstitutional in courts. In fact, the Times has already hinted that this is a fight set to happen:
The new laws are expected to face lengthy and expensive legal challenges. In 2018, a federal court found unconstitutional a policy similar to Idaho’s new law barring changes on birth certificates. The state attorney general’s office expressed concern over the constitutionality of the restrictions on sports participation, writing that, among other things, the legislation could violate the federal law known as Title IX that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions receiving federal financing.
This is definitely a fight worth having. Many girls are losing their opportunities due to unfair advantages males physically possess by nature. It’s sad that a girl can train all her life to compete in top-tier level competitions only to be defeated and sidelined by males with a mental illness.
That we’re even having to have this legal battle is sad in and of itself, however, it’s a battle that has to be fought regardless if we’re to help women and girls.