Media Contact

Rebecca De León, rebecca[at]corazon-deleon[dot]com

March 16, 2020

BOISE — The ACLU of Idaho calls on Governor Brad Little to veto HB 500. This legislation discriminates against transgender individuals and presents a dangerous potential for the invasion of privacy of all Idaho students who would be subjected to unwarranted medical testing to “prove” their biological sex, and it distracts from the urgent need for the State of Idaho to focus its attention on the global pandemic, COVID-19. 

Make no mistake, this bill would impact youth of all ages who wish to participate in sports on any level in Idaho, from elementary school to college, recreational sports or school teams. It subjects girls who present as masculine or who are intersex to invasive testing, including examinations of the genitals, far beyond what is required in a standard sports physical. This violates the U.S. Constitution and Title IX because it deprives educational opportunities to a subset of girls and enforces sex stereotypes by allowing anyone who does not meet expectations of their sex to be subjected to invasive, unnecessary and traumatizing medical testing.  Accusations against young women “being men” would thrive under this law, whether it is peers accusing a girl of being “too masculine” or “too strong” to be a girl, or other community members attacking a good player by insisting she be “checked” to see if their lived gender matches their genitalia.

Idaho already has in place a rule for athletic participation that is as strict as the NCAA and International Olympic Committee, so it will be difficult for the State of Idaho to meet the demanding heightened scrutiny test to show why an even stricter rule than that governing Olympic sports is needed for Idaho ultimate Frisbee clubs. If passed, this bill will ultimately leave school districts and taxpayers on the hook for the costs of litigation and will compromise the well-being of all students by funneling resources away from school needs into costly litigation.

This bill is not the Idaho way. We strongly urge Gov. Little to use his veto power on this discriminatory piece of legislation. For all of Idaho.

Click this link to send a message to Governor Little telling him you support his VETO power on HB 500!