A number of new laws went into effect in Idaho on July 1st.
We recently reported that Idaho’s expanded Constitutional Carry law went into effect on the same day.
Another controversial law that also took effect on July 1st is HB 500. The law prohibits high school and collegiate biological boys from participating in girl’s sports.
Recently, the Trump administration threw its support behind the law.
The Justice Department said in a statement,
Equal Protection Clause does not require states to abandon their efforts to provide biological women with equal opportunity to compete for, and enjoy the life-long benefits that flow from, participation in school athletics in order to accommodate the team preferences of transgender athletes.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls).
HB 500 passed both the Idaho House and Idaho Senate with a supermajority and only a few Republicans voting against the bill.
A number of lawmakers cited recent trends of biological boys playing in girl’s sports like cycling, weight lifting, and track as a reason to pass the law. In Connecticut, three highschool girls are suing over biological boys being allowed to compete in track and field.
Blaine Conzatti with the Family Policy Alliance of Idaho praised Idaho’s new law. Back in March, he had this to say about the bill,
Idaho is the first state in the nation to enact this law protecting athletic opportunities for girls. The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will keep the spirit of Title IX alive for generations of girls to come. We’ve answered the naysayers: it isn’t exclusionary to say that girls’ and women’s sports are for women, not for biological men. Our daughters are thanking legislators and the governor for saving girls’ sports!
However, not everyone is happy about the new law, including the ACLU.
Even before the passage of HB 500, the ACLU was clear that it intended to file a lawsuit if the bill became law. That didn’t stop the Idaho legislature from moving the bill forward anyway.
Soon after Gov. Little signed the bill, the ACLU announced it had several plaintiffs who were suing the state of Idaho.
Ritchie Eppnik is the legal director for ACLU of Idaho.
He said in a statement,
The Trump administration has been attacking trans folks in the United States since basically inauguration day. It’s not surprising they made this a part of their anti-trans agenda as well.
Additionally, a number of Idaho’s biggest companies also opposed the bill.
Micron, Clif Bar, HP, and Chobani came out in opposition to HB 500.
The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Director Mark Peters also sent a letter to Senate leaders earlier this year. He said in part,
As businesses, we’re committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion, and we are very proud to call Idaho home. It’s a privilege and honor to be ambassadors for the state in our daily interactions with customers, communities, and companies across the nation and around the world. We proudly talk about its strong and growing economy, and how it’s one of the best places in the nation to do business and live. Most important, we talk about the welcoming, big-hearted spirit of its people, and why our employees are so grateful to live and raise their families here.
The case is currently in Federal court and it may be some time before a judicial opinion is made.
It is also unclear how far each side is willing to go in appealing whatever decision is made. Both sides could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
What do you think of Idaho’s law banning biological boys from girl’s sports?
Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: ACLU, Barbara Ehardt, Department of Justice, HB 500, Idaho, Trump