New Idaho Law Will Save Women’s Sports

The destructive folly of transgender politics has even reached girls’ high school and college athletics. 

Idaho lawmakers want none of it. With his signature, Governor Brad Little made Idaho the first state in the nation to enact the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which seeks to save the spirit of Title IX by preserving athletic opportunities for girls. 

The law is simple. Girls’ school sports should be limited to biological females. Doctors providing physicals for student-athletes will now simply take note of the biological sex of the student, which can be easily determined through a variety of prescribed methods. If an athlete’s biological sex is disputed, the school’s athletic director can consult the student’s medical paperwork that the school is already required to keep on file.

For years, the policy of the Idaho High School Activities Association regarding transgender-identified athletes has looked like that of many other states: biologically male student-athletes could compete in girls’ sports after receiving hormone therapy for one year.

These policies have already robbed girls in several states of the athletic accomplishments they have trained hard to achieve.

In one such example, three female high school track athletes in Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against their interscholastic athletic organization. The girls argue they have been displaced by several transgender-identified biological males who keep winning championships and breaking state records.

And it is not just limited to liberal Connecticut. Biological men presenting as females are using their biological advantages—including superior lung and heart volume, bone density, and greater muscle mass—to win girls’ wrestling championships in Texas and track championships in Alaska, as well as other states.

If the trend continues, it could be a fatal blow to girls’ sports as we know them. That is why the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act falls squarely within the tradition of Title IX, the federal law guaranteeing that girls must be given equal access to athletics programs at schools receiving federal funding.

The legislation was sponsored by Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls), a former NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach, and Senator Mary Souza (R-Coeur d’Alene), a former hospital nurse uniquely equipped to address the physiological differences between men and women.

The usual histrionics accompanied the bill as it worked its way through the legislative process. Planned Parenthood protestors “occupied” the Capitol for days, screaming profanities and holding signs declaring that the blood of those who commit suicide because of this law will be on hands of legislators who vote for it. During debate, the constant refrain of liberal legislators opposed to the bill was the catchphrase, with all the finesse of a bumper sticker, that “Trans-women are women!”

Opponents contend the law is exclusionary. But that argument fails to grasp the obvious truth that there is nothing exclusionary about saying that women’s sports are for women, and men’s sports are for men.

Ask any student-athlete, high school coach, or parent—allowing biological men to perform in girls’ sports unfairly puts biological girls at a competitive disadvantage. In a sense, it is the girls who are truly being excluded. They have been excluded from the sports that were designed to provide them with the space they need to reach their highest potential.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act restores common sense and basic fairness to school athletics. Other states need to follow the example of Idaho if we are to save sports for generations of girls to come. Our girls will thank you.

Blaine Conzatti is a trained economist who serves as the director of advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho. He is committed to the Judeo-Christian principles of the American founding and the free-market policies that empowered the growth of the most prosperous and free nation in world history.

This article was originally written for the Resurgent.

The End of Girls’ Sports

Ask-Me-First_TannerMy wife and I recently celebrated the birth of our first child. I may win the championship title for PROUDEST DAD—our little girl has already stolen my heart. I’m sure you know the feeling if you have children.

Even though it’s years away, I look forward spending my weekend days in folding chairs and on bleachers, watching my little girl learn to swing a bat at tee-ball and chase the checkered soccer ball around the field. Maybe she will even find a sport for which she exudes passion and decides to play in high school or college.

This week at the Supreme Court, oral arguments were given in a case (Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC) that could have disastrous implications for girls sports everywhere.

The specifics of the case deal with a transgender funeral home employee that filed a complaint with the EEOC after he was fired for violating company dress policy by dressing like a woman at funerals and meetings with grieving clients.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the funeral home director, redefining “sex” (a protected class under federal law) to include “gender identity.” If this redefinition is affirmed by the Supreme Court, unequal treatment on the basis of a person’s gender identity will now be prohibited under federal law, unmooring the concept of “sex” from any objective biological basis.

So how does this relate to girls’ sports? Under this scientifically indefensible interpretation of “sex” and “gender,” any effort to prevent biological boys from performing in girls’ sports would constitute legally prohibited “discrimination.”

Ask any student athlete, high school coach, or parent—allowing biological men to perform in girls’ sports unfairly puts biological girls at a competitive disadvantage. The size, strength, bone structure, lung volume, and heart supply of the average male far outpaces even the most elite female athletes, even after the biological male undergoes hormone therapy.

Allowing biological boys to participate in girls’ sports deprives our girls of opportunities for slots on teams, victories, and scholarships. Biological boys are already beginning to win athletic championships in many states.

Here in Idaho, a biological male can play in girls’ high school sports after undergoing hormone treatment for one year. Family Policy Alliance of Idaho calls on the state legislature to fix the loophole allowing boys to play in girls’ sports.

Legislation protecting fairness in sports would save girls’ sports for my daughter and yours. Until then, we will keep monitoring the Harris Funeral Homes case playing out in the Supreme Court. Please be praying for a positive outcome to this case.

This article was written for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho.