Posted by 18 August 2020
A federal judge has prevented Idaho from implementing a law that would prohibit transgender athletes from competing unless they compete in leagues that match their gender identity at birth.
The law was passed as an attempt to stop transgender girls from competing in girls' sports leagues. Sponsors say that it is necessary to stop unfair competition. They contend that transgender athletes have unfair biological advantages over competitors. Legislators passed the law earlier this year and Gov. Brad Little signed it into law.
Critics immediately sued to stop its implementation. They argue that this law mandates unlawful discrimination based on someone's sex, and federal judge David Nye agreed that these arguments are likely to succeed. He said that Idaho could not enforce the law while the legal case was ongoing, noting that the law seems to contradict recent Supreme Court decisions.
The issue of transgender athletes has been controversial in recent years. Athletic leagues have different rules for how transgender individuals can compete, but all allow such competition if the transgender athlete meets certain conditions. The Idaho law did not take these conditions into account, instead saying that if someone wanted to compete in school athletics, they must do so according to their gender at birth. The law also established a process to investigate this issue if there were a controversy over someone's gender.
The legal case against the Idaho law will continue to be decided by federal courts.
Do you think that transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete in leagues that match their birth gender?