Lawmakers In 19 States Cloning Idaho’s Transgender Athlete Bill

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02/08/2021

Feb. 3, Utah House Representative Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, introduced HB302, which would require public school athletes to play on teams which aligned only with their sex at birth. Similar legislation has now been introduced in 19 states, according to the Equality Foundation, a LGBTQ+ advocacy organization. “Idaho’s passage of this bill was really just a moment that taught other states that this is a bill that maybe they should move forward on,” said Equality Federation Director of Advocacy and Civic Engagement Vivian Topping. She called the bills, “a solution in search of a problem.” Idaho’s law awaits legal review in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments in that case are expected in late spring, said Courtney Chappelle, Advocacy Director at Legal Voice, which, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing Governor Brad Little and the state of Idaho over HB500. That case is Hecox v. Little. Some of the new proposed bills restricting athletic participation have language nearly identical to Idaho’s law. Montana’s version, for example, was word-for-word the same, except lawmakers left out a section specifying how girls can “prove” their gender, a provision directly targeted as unconstitutional by the pending lawsuit.

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