STATEMENT: Idaho Prioritizes Anti-Transgender Legislation Over Public Health and Safety

Washington, D.C. — As the coronavirus pandemic has shut down businesses, schools, and legislative chambers across the country, lawmakers in Idaho opted to start their week passing a bill attacking transgender students athletes.

H.B. 500—disingenuously titled the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act—unconstitutionally targets transgender students in the state, prohibiting transgender women and girls as well as intersex students from participating in women’s sports. It goes further still, requiring any student playing women’s sports whose sex is challenged to provide a signed physician’s statement affirming the student’s sex based on factors such as their internal and external reproductive anatomy.

In response to the law’s passage in the Idaho Legislature, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, put out the following statement:

Today, Idaho lawmakers signaled that they care more about legalizing bigotry than focusing on the health and welfare of Idahoans during the COVID-19 crisis. This bill would exclude transgender women and girls from athletic teams and subject all women and girls to invasive medical disclosures.

Transgender women and girls are women and girls. Period. They should have the same opportunities to be on a team and build a sense of belonging as their peers. We must protect transgender youth, rather than seek new ways to erase them from public life.

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