BOISE, Idaho – Today, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed into law legislation that discriminates against transgender student athletes and a second bill that bans transgender people from changing their birth certificates.
House Bill 500 bans transgender student athletes from participating in sports, which is counter to current policies set by the Idaho High School Activities Association. Idaho becomes the first state in the country to pass legislation targeting transgender student athletes.
“Our country is facing an unprecedented health crisis, and Gov. Little and members of the Idaho Legislature have prioritized attacking transgender student athletes with this discriminatory and unnecessary new law,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality. “State leaders should focus on protecting public health and safety, not on attacking vulnerable youth who want to play on a team with their peers. With so much suffering right now, Idaho is making sure trans kids suffer more.”
Until now, Idaho has allowed transgender youth to compete in sports consistent with their gender identity.
“As a transgender woman and a runner attending Boise State University, I strongly oppose HB 500,” said Lindsay Hecox. “Supporters of this bill are attempting to fix a problem that was never there. It specifically targets people like me and all transgender female athletes and denies us the opportunity to compete in sports. It’s unfair, unnecessary and discriminatory, and it ignores the commitment we’ve made to rigorous training and the importance of athletic competition to our lives.”
The Women’s Sports Foundation, the National Women’s Law Center, Women Leaders in College Sports and others are among the groups that support the participation of transgender student athletes in school sports.
House Bill 509 prohibits transgender people from changing the gender listed on their birth certificate.