The ACLU is suing the state of Idaho over its new law prohibiting males, particularly those who self-identify as transgender, from participating in girls' sports at the high school and university levels.
The complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Boise, alleges that a bill signed late last month by Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, unlawfully discriminates against athletes who identify as transgender and that it constitutes an invasion of privacy because the bill requires athletes to give proof of their birth sex if challenged, perhaps with a physical exam. The lawsuit names Lindsay Hecox, a trans-identifying track athlete at Boise State University and an unnamed high school female athlete as plaintiffs.
“In Idaho and across the country, transgender people of all ages have been participating in sports consistent with their gender identity for years. Inclusive teams support all athletes and encourage participation — this should be the standard for all school sports,” argues Gabriel Arkles, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
In addition to the sports bill, Little also signed a separate bill banning the alteration of sex markers on public documents such as birth certificates in order to preserve biologically-based vital statistics in the state. The sports bill was set to take effect on July 1.
Little said in an interview last week with the media that he signed the bill because the issue is about "girls' right to participate without having to be concerned about who they’re competing with."
Women's rights activists who have been resisting the push to redefine sex as "gender identity" in the law are vowing to support Idaho in their fight to preserve their law.
Beth Stelzer, founder of the nonpartisan group Save Women's Sports, said in an email to The Christian Post on Wednesday that "It is a shame that the ACLU has turned its back on women. We stand behind Governor Little."
“It is sad to think that there are those who would prevent girls and women from competing in their own sports while continuing to give more opportunities to boys and men,” Idaho state Rep. Barbara Ehardt, the Republican sponsor of the bill, said in an email to The Washington Times on Wednesday.
Kara Dansky, board member and media coordinator for the radical feminist group Women's Liberation Front, said in an interview with CP on Wednesday that the complaint is based on manipulations and misrepresentation, particularly because human beings cannot change their sex.
"Title IX exists in order to protect women and girls in the educational arena, and — as everyone knows — women and girls are human females. The complaint implicitly acknowledges this by noting men who 'self-identify as women' have a male sex. The complaint goes so far as to refer to biological sex as 'vague,' which is nonsense. Everyone knows what the word 'sex' means," Dansky said.
Thus, proponents of self-declared gender frame this issue in the manner in order to give boys and men the chance to steal athletic opportunities from women and girls, she stressed.
Advocates who argue for the legitimization of transgender identities in public policy frequently assert that gender identity should be given the same designation as biological sex in the law. Dansky insists that is impossible from a legal standpoint.
"'Gender identity' is an ill-defined concept that has no basis in material reality and is not, as such, worthy of civil rights protection. Our public officials, including judges, have a responsibility to protect the distinct category of sex," she said.
"Intersex (or disorders of sexual development) are entirely irrelevant to this discussion," Dansky added, when asked about the routine conflation of transgender and intersex some activists and media outlets often make when speaking of the issue.
"No one alleges that either plaintiff in this matter has a disorder of sexual development. In any event, disorders of sexual development are caused by chromosomal anomalies and have nothing to do with so-called 'gender identity.'"
The WoLF board member elaborated that the ACLU complaint demands that federal judges blind their eyes to basic biology and rewrite our nation’s civil rights laws based on a falsehood and that those who push transgender ideology have thoroughly confused people by confusing language.
"But even the coronavirus pandemic has exposed how fragile these word games are, by proving that even viruses know the differences between men and women. No one can escape the reality of biology," she said.
The dispute is but the latest example of legal contentiousness over transgender ideology and its impact on athletics.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice sided with three female high school athletes who filed a federal lawsuit against Connecticut public schools over their policy of allowing biological males to compete in girls' sports.