BOISE, ID — The National Center for Lesbian Rights strongly condemns Idaho Governor Brad Little's decision to sign HB 500, a law that bars transgender girls from participating in sports. As a result of the Governor's action, Idaho will now be the only state in the country to bar transgender children from school sports.
The Governor's decision not to veto the bill conflicts with an Idaho Attorney General opinion that the legislation is "constitutionally problematic" and likely violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — an opinion endorsed by five former Idaho Attorneys General. HB 500 passed the Idaho House in February and the Idaho Senate earlier this month.
"We are disappointed that Governor Little signed such an extreme and mean-spirited law," said Asaf Orr, the director of NCLR's Transgender Youth Project Director. "HB 500 is a direct assault on the health and wellbeing of young transgender Idahoans, who already face enormous challenges. This is a heartbreaking day for these young people and their families, who have now been sent a toxic message of rejection and exclusion by elected officials in their own state. We stand with these families and will do all we can to support a legal challenge this hateful law."
HB 500 is the first bill of its kind to pass a state legislature and the first to be signed into law. The new law requires athletes to prove their gender via blood, genetic or DNA testing — a provision that creates unconstitutional privacy violations, according to the Idaho Attorney General's opinion.
NCLR's Transgender Youth Project has worked with more than 18 state athletic associations across the country to develop sensible, inclusive policies that permit transgender athletes to play school sports. For more information, contact Asaf Orr at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community's most vulnerable. www.nclrights.org .
—From a press release