Legal advocates for a transgender athlete filed documents in the Idaho Federal Court on Wednesday challenging Idaho’s newly enacted law barring transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports.
One of the plaintiffs included in the litigation is a 19-year-old woman who seeks to participate in the intercollegiate track and cross-country teams at the school.
The Boise State University Lindsay Hecox explained in a statement for the litigation that she just wants to run with other girls on the team.
“I run for myself, but part of what I enjoy about the sport is building the relationships with a team,” Hecox said in a statement.
“I’m a girl, and the right team for me is the girls’ team.”
The law prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in school sports was quietly signed into law last month by Idaho Gov. Brad Little amid the coronavirus epidemic and is the first and only state law like it in the United States.
Last week Little strongly defended his signing into law of the nation’s most sweeping anti-transgender legislation, calling it the “right thing” to do.
An Idaho Attorney General’s opinion on HB 509 concluded that the state was “unlikely to prevail” if it went to court to defend the new statute, and that “litigation of this nature is likely to be extremely expensive for the state,” with an award to cover the other side’s attorney fees alone likely to exceed $1 million.
“To me, from the very advent of the discussion,” Little told the Idaho Press on Tuesday, “It was like, doesn’t that make common sense, and reasonable, that one’s birth certificate reflects what one’s sex is at birth, just from that premise?”
American Civil Libertarians Union of Idaho Legal Director Ritchie Eppink said in a statement Idaho residents had been fighting this legislation since it was introduced.
“Businesses, major employers, schools, doctors, and counsellors have all warned that this law is terrible for Idaho,” Eppink said.
“We’ve been fighting this bill since the day it was introduced in the Legislature.
“This is a bill that from the start, and even through its amendments, illegally targeted women and girls, and in particular and especially women and girls who are transgender and intersex.”
Hecox said she has been running most of her life, including four years of high school track and three years on the cross country team. She said she met some great friends as well as coaches who she views as inspirations and mentors.
“The running team was the specific group of people I felt at home with,” she said. “They kind of get me.”
The bill will override the current policy of the Idaho High School Activities Association, which is modelled on the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s policy and lets transgender girls and women play on female sports teams after a year of hormone therapy.
Last Updated on Apr 16, 2020