A common-sense transgender sports bill that would ensure female student-athletes have a level playing field against teammates of their own biological sex just passed another hurdle on its way to becoming law in Idaho.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, introduced last month by Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls), passed through the House State Affairs Committee and was sent to the Idaho House floor on Thursday, according to KTVB.
Although the bill would also ban transgender “men” from competing in sports against biological men, much of Ehardt’s focus in discussing the bill has been protecting women’s sports from invasion by biologically male athletes.
As we reported last month:
“Boys and men will not be able to take the place of girls and women in sports because it’s not fair. We cannot physically compete against boys and men,” Ehardt told East Idaho News earlier this week.
“The inherent biological, scientific advantages that boys and men have over girls and women,” she added, “even if they were to take hormones, even if they were to spend a couple of years on estrogen, that’s not going to replace the inherent biological advantages that boys and men have.”
“Those biological boys, those men, can still compete (in sports), it will just have to be with those who look like them, that have the same large heart and lungs,” she continued.
Ehardt also declared that her bill is decidedly not anti-LGBTQ and that she has worked with and trained many LGBTQ athletes during her extensive tenure as a basketball coach.
“This has nothing to do with an anti-LGBT agenda. This is all about providing the opportunity for girls and women to continue to compete just as our counterparts, boys and men, are able to compete,” Ehardt said.
“Allowing boys and men to compete against girls and women shatters our dreams,” Ehardt told KTVB, adding that allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for Idaho women. “Forcing girls and women to compete against biological boys and men has too often made us spectators in our own sports.”
The bill also contains a section that would allow a student to establish their sex, if disputed, by presenting a signed doctor’s note “based solely on: (a) The student’s internal and external reproductive anatomy; (b) The student’s normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone; (c) An analysis of the student’s genetic makeup.”
According to the ACLU’s public policy strategist Kathy Griesmyer, however, such stringent and scientific criteria for being a male or female “creates a paradigm of discrimination that impermissibly forces sex stereotypes by allowing anyone who does not meet expectations of their sex to be subjected to invasive, unnecessary and traumatizing medical testing.”
Leftist word salads aside, this bill is one of several that may not holistically address the issue of transgender individuals in student sports, but it’s a start we can stand behind!
As we’ve previously reported, even compelling transgender students to compete within divisions of their own biological sex can leave girls at risk, as demonstrated in the case of “Mack” Beggs.
Beggs, a biologically female college athlete in Texas who identifies as a male, sailed through undefeated to the 2017 and 2018 state championships for her weight class, with 57-0 and 32-0 records, respectively. Several girls refused to wrestle Beggs, fearing injury.
Although Beggs’ school district required her to compete according to her biological sex, it did not prevent her from continuing hormone therapy and taking testosterone, a clear factor in the girl’s massive winning streak.
Perhaps additional legislation is needed to ensure that girls and women are also shielded from “competition” against their fellow females who happen to have unnatural doses of testosterone coursing through their systems. For now, we strongly support Rep. Ehardt and The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. It is a sensible and much-needed first step to ensure that biological males, who are demonstrably stronger than females even after the typically-required calendar year of hormone therapy, are not allowed to trample on female teammates and opponents.
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