A federal judge in the US has made the move to temporarily block a law banning transgender girls and women athletes from playing sport that fits their gender identity, according to the activist group the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The law in Idaho, called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, was the first to be passed in the US and had temporarily limited transgender girls and women from playing sports consistent with their gender identity.
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Furthermore, the law allowed for the girls or women to have their genitals checked if their biological sex is challenged.
But a judge made a move to block the law claiming it was in ‘stark contrast’ to the policies of athletic bodies.
“This categorical bar to girls and women who are transgender stands in stark contrast to the policies of elite athletic bodies that regulate sports both nationally and globally — including the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the International Olympic Committee — which allow transgender women to participate in female sports teams once specific criteria are met,” US District Court Judge David Nye wrote in his ruling.
The law does not apply to transgender boys or men in sport and the ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the law.
While Idaho is the first state to pass the law, other states, including Arizona, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and others, have considered similar bills in recent months, too.
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Prominent athletes and activists including New York Knicks guard Reggie Bullock, tennis icon Billie Jean King and US Women’s football star Megan Rapinoe all contributed in a letter slamming the law when it was passed.
More than 45 professional athletes and 400 student-athletes signed the letter to the NCAA, which claimed the law was “discriminatory” and potentially harmful for the athletes wellbeing.
“Given Idaho’s adoption of a discriminatory law that directly impacts college athletics, violates NCAA values and undermines the dignity and well-being of NCAA athletics, Idaho schools no longer qualify to host NCAA events,” they wrote in the letter, in part.
“This harms the NCAA’s goals of protecting athlete wellbeing and promoting diversity and inclusion in athletics.”
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act is now on a temporary hold pending a full trial.
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