Lawsuit challenges Idaho law limiting women’s sports to women

Idaho Statehouse. (File Image)

Two civil rights groups are mounting a legal challenge to the notion that men should not be allowed to participate in women’s sports in Idaho, after the state enacted legislation to bar female impersonators, i.e. “transgender” individuals, from competing in athletic contests designated for females.

Though men may dress and act like females, and even undergo surgery on their bodies, they usually retain male physical capabilities that make them dominant in athletics.

PBS reports that the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice filed a federal lawsuit on April 15 challenging the new Idaho law, the first of its kind in the nation. The groups contend the law violates the U.S. Constitution because it is discriminatory and an invasion of privacy. The groups also said the law set to take effect July 1 violates Title IX, the 1972 law barring sex discrimination in education.

The 60-page lawsuit asks the court to permanently bar Idaho from enforcing the law.

The measure, which received overwhelming support in the Republican-dominated House and Senate but no support from Democrats, was signed into law by Republican Gov. Brad Little late last month. It applies to all sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. A girls’ or women’s team will not be open to transgender students who identify as female.

The lawsuit claims the law violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because it is discriminatory and the 4th Amendment’s protections against invasion of privacy because of tests required should an athlete’s gender be challenged.


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