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Judge Pauses Law Requiring Students to Take Transgender Screening Before Participating in Sports

In April of 2020 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a transgender student from Boise State University and an unnamed cis-gendered student who was worried about the type of tests required for school sports.

Gabriel Arkles, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project said, “We’re suing because HB 500 illegally targets women and girls who are transgender and intersex and subjects all female athletes to the possibility of invasive genital and genetic screenings.”

The fear that transgender students entering sports is not a new one. The question of "is it fair?" may always be asked, but Monday's ruling by Trump appointed U.S. District Judge David Nye, made the call that at the very least, the pending law was not right.

The judge issued an injunction meaning that for the fall, women and girls are allowed to participate in sports. He continued to say that the restriction, “stands in stark contrast to the policies of elite athletic bodies that regulate sports both nationally and globally...The Court recognizes that this decision is likely to be controversial,” Nye wrote.

“While the citizens of Idaho are likely to either vehemently oppose, or fervently support, the Act, the Constitution must always prevail.” The judge pointed out that in the policy the testing of athletes through exams and genetic testing was also a huge problem and that the law was unlikely to pass in court.

Many in Idaho are celebrating the injunction. “Transgender people belong in Idaho, including on school sports teams."

This decision will not only protect women and girls, but also the Idaho economy as businesses have made it clear that they do not want to support any attack on transgender students. This is a welcome first step, and our fight for Lindsay, Jane Doe and others impacted by this law is not over."(Ritchie Eppink, legal director for the ACLU of Idaho.)

Despite the victory, the ACLU and others are determined to press on. Big name athletes like Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, and Jason Collins have even called on the NCAA to cancel the March Madness Tournament next year.

Legal Voice's Catherine West summed it up saying, “School sports are about participation. All women and girls should be able to play without invasive testing.”

We're happy to hear that transgender and cis-gender students alike can go back to the sports they love, but even without the invasive testing, some people still ask; is it fair?


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