December 10, 2023

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Idaho governor signs two anti-transgender bills

Governor Brad Little signed two bills into law that stop people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, and ban transgender girls and women from competing in women’s sports.

House Bill 500 states that all athletic teams will be expressly designated based on biological sex within most educational institutions and cites ”inherent differences between men and women” as reasoning.

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The legislation states that a “dispute” about an athlete’s gender may only be resolved by the student establishing sex through a physician’s examination of the student’s internal end external reproductive anatomy, normal endogenously produced testosterone or genetic makeup.

The ban applies to all sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges, and universities.

It means that sports teams will not allow transgender female students to participate in sports as a member of a female team.

The other bill signed by Gov Little, House Bill 509, prohibits transgender people from obtaining a new birth certificate with their gender identity on it.

The bill ignores a 2018 federal court ruling that a law barring transgender people from making birth certificate changes violated the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution, The Associated Press reported. The Independent approached Gov Little for comment.

The judge overturned the ban and warned against new rules that would try to reinforce the limitations, according to the report.

“There’s an injunction that already absolutely forbids this policy, and the government can’t enforce this law without violating a court order,” Peter Renn of Lambda Legal, the law firm that represented two transgender women whose lawsuit led to the court ruling, told The Associated Press.

“The ramifications of contempt (of court) are quite furious.”

The bill state that the legislature is needed due to “compelling interest in maintaining accurate, quantitative, biology-based material facts on Idaho certificates of birth” in the name of public health and safety.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said that both laws violate the rights of transgender residents in the state and condemned Gov Little’s actions.

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“The ACLU of Idaho condemns Governor Brad Little’s decision to sign discriminatory, unconstitutional, and deeply hurtful anti-transgender bills into law,” a statement said.

“Leaders from the business, faith, medical, education and athletics communities will not forget this decision or what it says about the governor’s priorities during a global pandemic.”