Thursday, August 17, 2023

Federal appeals court say no to Idaho's ban on trans female athletes

From NBC News:

 A federal appeals court on Thursday refused to allow Idaho to enforce a first-in-the-nation ban on transgender women and girls from participating in female sports leagues, saying the measure likely was unconstitutional. A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel delivered a victory to LGBTQ rights advocates by upholding an injunction blocking Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, the first of many such laws to be enacted by Republican-led states.

 “This is an important victory for common sense, equality, and the rights of transgender youth under the law,” said Chase Strangio, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which pursued the court challenge. The Idaho measure, which Republican Gov. Brad Little signed into law in March 2020, bars transgender women and girls of all ages from participating in female sports teams at public schools in the state, from primary school through college. Twenty-two other states have adopted similar laws governing sports, most recently in North Carolina, according to the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which had argued in favor of reviving Idaho’s law. 

This victory underscores the fact that in spite of all of the false narrative and bad hype (mostly perpetrated by TERFs and second-rate cis female athletes), the idea that trans females have an advantage in sports is difficult to prove in court. Those pushing the idea generally rely on preconceived notions and basic lies. This was already covered in 2021 by the USA Today in a blockbuster article, Conservatives want to ban transgender athletes from girls sports. Their evidence is shaky. 

The article's main point continues to be a reality:

Across the nation, state lawmakers supporting transgender athlete bans have painted a picture that girls sports teams will be overrun by athletes with insurmountable physical advantages. But a USA TODAY investigation of the lobbying effort shows that narrative has been built on vague examples that have been overstated or are untrue, and lawmakers have accepted them as fact with little effort to verify their accuracy.

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