Becoming the first state in the nation to do so, Idaho has adopted legislation banning transgender-identifying individuals from altering their sex marker on their birth certificates and another preserving women's athletics as female-only.
Late Monday, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed two bills into law amid growing resistance to transgender ideology in politically conservative state legislatures. The bills are called the "Fairness in Women's Sports Act" and the "Vital Statistics Act."
The sports bill would require high school-aged girls to prove their sex through a physical exam, DNA test or testosterone levels test in order to participate in high school sports. The statistics bill requires birth records and other relevant official documents to note the biological sex of a person, rejecting a previous federal court ruling which held that banning birth certificate alterations is unconstitutional.
"I applaud Governor Little for setting a precedent and standing up for females by signing the Fairness in Women's Sports Act. We should not force females to compete against males, it’s that simple," said Beth Stelzer, founder of the nonpartisan Save Women's Sports, in an email to The Christian Post on Tuesday.
"Women and girls deserve sex-segregated sports teams and locker rooms. I believe this is the start of our government turning in favor of the truth; there are two sexes, they are immutable, and biological sex cannot be conflated with 'gender identity.'"
The American Civil Liberties Union promised to fight the new laws.
"The ACLU will see the governor in court. We encourage all Idahoans to email, call, and tweet Gov. Little to express outrage and disappointment at wasting precious taxpayer resources on blatantly anti-transgender bills at a time when we should be coming together for the health and well-being of our people," the group said in a statement.
Idaho Democrats claimed during the debate and continue to say that the laws will cost the state money to fight the inevitable lawsuits and are a waste of resources. They are now blasting the governor's action as especially unnecessary given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
"Idaho's Attorney General, legal advocacy groups, and numerous qualified lawyers have already made it clear that these unconstitutional pieces of legislation will end up in court and Idaho will lose," Rep. Lauren Necochea, D-Boise, said in a statement.
"I am disgusted and disappointed that Governor Little has decided to waste valuable taxpayer money to fight court battles over issues that are not a priority to Idahoans. Our residents are losing their jobs, getting kicked out of their homes, and struggling to make ends meet. Instead of wasting state money to fight court battles that we have already lost in the past, we should be prioritizing taking care of our fellow Idahoans."
By contrast, conservative activists praised the governor's move.
“Today is an exciting day for our state. Governor Little has proven himself to be a friend to Idaho families,” said Family Policy Alliance of Idaho spokesman Blaine Conzatti in a statement, noting the importance of the law to safeguard accurate statistics.
“As a state vital record, birth certificates are supposed to reflect the facts as they existed at the time of birth," Conzatti said.
"By ensuring that the 'sex' marker on birth certificates accurately indicate biological sex, the State of Idaho makes sure law enforcement, our criminal justice system, and the public health infrastructure have the factual information they need to do their jobs well," he added.
"It is indisputable that families are made safer by this law. Several national public interest law firms have vetted this legislation, and they have all come to the same conclusion: the Vital Statistics Act is constitutional and is defensible in court. We applaud legislators and the governor for this common-sense law.”