New York (April 15, 2020) — Athlete Ally stands in support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in their fight against Idaho’s dangerous anti-transgender legislation, House Bill (HB) 500.
H.B. 500, which Governor Brad Little signed into law on the eve of Trans Day of Visibility, marks the first outright state ban on trans athletes, the only statewide law regulating transgender and intersex athletes in the country, and the only law imposing intrusive sex verification requirements for athletic participation. Supporters of the bill claim that it protects girls’ and women’s access to sport, but in reality it creates greater inequality. Instead of addressing actual barriers to access like a lack of resources, lack of training and investment in women coaches, and high rates of sexual assault, this bill targets vulnerable trans youth, and would harm all women and girls.
Today, the ACLU responded by filing a lawsuit claiming that H.B. 500 violates Title IX and the Constitution. This is the first-ever lawsuit in the US challenging anti-trans restrictions to sports and the first challenge to the imposition of “sex verification” practices that harm all women and girls.
“H.B. 500 is a cruel attack against our vulnerable trans youth, and we’re grateful to the ACLU for keeping up the fight for justice,” said Anne Lieberman, Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally. “Sport has the power to unite athletes and fans across divides, bringing tremendous health benefits while teaching values such as fair play, respect and teamwork. Every single young person deserves this experience and opportunity. This is a time when we most need compassion and community, not cruel legislation that threatens the well-being of young people. We will never stop fighting these bills and standing in support of trans youth.”