Over the last few months, you helped pass the first law in the nation to reserve girls’ sports for biological girls. As you may know from our previous updates, there’s an ongoing lawsuit surrounding that important law. Last night, a federal judge issued an initial ruling in the lawsuit. Here’s what you need to know.
What law is at stake?
Idaho’s groundbreaking “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” championed by Family Policy Alliance of Idaho since its legislative inception, is designed to ensure that girls’ sports are reserved for biological girls. Without the law, biological males who identify as female were competing in girls’ high school and college sports—placing female athletes at a disadvantage.
What’s happening in the lawsuit?
The ACLU sued the state of Idaho over the law, seeking to allow males to play in female sports categories. Last night, a federal judge temporarily halted the law’s enforcement – but that’s not the end of the story.
The injunction is only a temporary measure while the lawsuit moves forward. Going forward, the state won’t be alone in defending this important law: the judge also allowed two female athletes from Idaho State University to intervene in favor of the law. The women, represented in court by Alliance Defending Freedom, were forced to compete against a biologically male athlete at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Track & Field championships last year. All women in the event placed behind the biological male.
The law also has the backing of the Trump Administration.
The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issued a ruling earlier this summer that a Connecticut policy allowing boys to play in girls’ sports violates Title IX (the law that ensures girls have access to equal educational and athletic opportunities with boys) and could result in loss of federal funding. Similarly, the US Department of Justice filed a motion in support of Idaho’s law.
How is Family Policy Alliance responding?
Even as the lawsuit continues in Idaho, Family Policy Alliance will continue to stand for fair sports for girls in Idaho and beyond. This morning, we issued the following statements to the media.
From Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance:
A young girl should never be placed in the position of losing out on a championship or scholarship simply because a male was allowed to compete in the female sports category. Yet that potential outcome is held in the balance today in Idaho. The eyes of the nation are on Idaho as a federal judge takes steps to decide whether female athletes can count on a fair playing field – or whether years of work to advance female athletic opportunities will be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. In a court of law, where justice ought to guide the judge’s decisions, we hope the final outcome will uphold fairness. But as we await that decision – and whatever form it ultimately takes – Family Policy Alliance will continue to fight to Save Girls’ Sports wherever we have opportunity. Our daughters are counting on us.
From Blaine Conzatti, Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho:
We know this law is constitutional, and we remain confident that ultimately it will be vindicated in court. The Trump Administration supports this law as essential to preserving the spirit of Title IX for future generations of girls. We know the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act is on strong legal footing.
What happens next?
While we await further developments in the Idaho lawsuit, Family Policy Alliance is already looking toward advocating for similar laws in other states wherever we have opportunity to do so. This summer, we launched a nationwide “Save Girls’ Sports” campaign to build awareness around the issue of males competing in female sports. As part of that, thousands of you have signed our petition to state lawmakers asking for laws similar to Idaho’s.
And it’s no wonder that so many of you signed. Recent polling shows that a majority of Americans – including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents – agree that female athletes should not be forced to compete against biological men.
Americans know that female athletes deserve a fair playing field in sports. There is nothing discriminatory about laws that protect equal opportunities for female athletes – and we firmly believe that protecting that equal opportunity is an important step for state legislators to consider in the time to come.