The Fairness Act, HB 500, limits participation in women’s and girls’ sports to biological females in all Idaho public schools, including colleges and universities. The law keeps boys who believe they are girls from taking opportunities and medals from female athletes.
In supporting Idaho’s law, Attorney General William Barr said “Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports is fundamentally unfair to female athletes.” He explained that there are real physiological differences between the biological sexes in athletics and that the Fairness Act provides equal protection for girls and women, “ensuring that biological females have equal athletic opportunities.”
The ACLU alleged that the Fairness Act, among other issues, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The DOJ, on the other hand, argued that “some sex-based classifications are constitutional because certain ‘differences between men and women’ are ‘enduring.’”
The statement of interest explains “that the Equal Protection Clause permits an athletics policy that ‘preclude[s] boys from playing on girls’ teams, even though girls are permitted to participate on boys’ athletic teams’ in light of the real biological differences between men and women.”
To support Idaho’s legislation and to promote fairness for women athletes, the Family Policy Alliance (FPA) launched the campaign: #SaveGirlsSports. FPA is a Christian organization supporting issues such as the sanctity of life, free speech, religious freedom and parental rights.
The Save Girls’ Sports campaign marks the 48th anniversary of Title IX, the federal civil rights law banning discrimination in education based on sex. The law went into effect on June 23, 1972, transforming girls’ and women’s sports. Before Title IX, only one out of 27 girls participated in sports. By 2016, largely due to Title IX, two out of five girls participated in athletics.
FPA is encouraging others to join in and proclaim their support of girls’ sports. The group urges current and former female athletes to share photos on social media and explain why playing sports is important. FPA has a Facebook photo frame, along with instructions for adding the frame to profile pictures. Parents and other supporters can also use the photo filter to help raise awareness of the threat to female athletics.
The organization also has an online petition for those who support fairness for female athletes. They’re hoping to pass similar laws in more states “so that girls everywhere can play sports on a level playing field.”
Other individuals and groups are joining the campaign, including: Concerned Women for America, Save Women’s Sports, Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and The Heritage Foundation.
Join the campaign to Save Girls’ Sports:
Photo courtesy of the Family Policy Alliance