The destructive folly of transgender politics has even reached girls’ high school and college athletics.
Idaho lawmakers want none of it. With his signature, Governor Brad Little made Idaho the first state in the nation to enact the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which seeks to save the spirit of Title IX by preserving athletic opportunities for girls.
The law is simple. Girls’ school sports should be limited to biological females. Doctors providing physicals for student-athletes will now simply take note of the biological sex of the student, which can be easily determined through a variety of prescribed methods. If an athlete’s biological sex is disputed, the school’s athletic director can consult the student’s medical paperwork that the school is already required to keep on file.
For years, the policy of the Idaho High School Activities Association regarding transgender-identified athletes has looked like that of many other states: biologically male student-athletes could compete in girls’ sports after receiving hormone therapy for one year.
These policies have already robbed girls in several states of the athletic accomplishments they have trained hard to achieve.
In one such example, three female high school track athletes in Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against their interscholastic athletic organization. The girls argue they have been displaced by several transgender-identified biological males who keep winning championships and breaking state records.
And it is not just limited to liberal Connecticut. Biological men presenting as females are using their biological advantages—including superior lung and heart volume, bone density, and greater muscle mass—to win girls’ wrestling championships in Texas and track championships in Alaska, as well as other states.
If the trend continues, it could be a fatal blow to girls’ sports as we know them. That is why the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act falls squarely within the tradition of Title IX, the federal law guaranteeing that girls must be given equal access to athletics programs at schools receiving federal funding.
The legislation was sponsored by Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls), a former NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach, and Senator Mary Souza (R-Coeur d’Alene), a former hospital nurse uniquely equipped to address the physiological differences between men and women.
The usual histrionics accompanied the bill as it worked its way through the legislative process. Planned Parenthood protestors “occupied” the Capitol for days, screaming profanities and holding signs declaring that the blood of those who commit suicide because of this law will be on hands of legislators who vote for it. During debate, the constant refrain of liberal legislators opposed to the bill was the catchphrase, with all the finesse of a bumper sticker, that “Trans-women are women!”
Opponents contend the law is exclusionary. But that argument fails to grasp the obvious truth that there is nothing exclusionary about saying that women’s sports are for women, and men’s sports are for men.
Ask any student-athlete, high school coach, or parent—allowing biological men to perform in girls’ sports unfairly puts biological girls at a competitive disadvantage. In a sense, it is the girls who are truly being excluded. They have been excluded from the sports that were designed to provide them with the space they need to reach their highest potential.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act restores common sense and basic fairness to school athletics. Other states need to follow the example of Idaho if we are to save sports for generations of girls to come. Our girls will thank you.
Blaine Conzatti is a trained economist who serves as the director of advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho. He is committed to the Judeo-Christian principles of the American founding and the free-market policies that empowered the growth of the most prosperous and free nation in world history.