One of the most important legislative victories we achieved this year is the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.
This first-in-the-nation law limits participation in girls’ high school and college sports to biological girls, making clear that women’s sports are for women only. Ultimately, this law preserves the spirit of Title IX, which guarantees equal athletics opportunities to girls in schools receiving federal funding.
But the ACLU and other far-left advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to overturn the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. If they are successful, they will undermine important protections this law provides for women’s sports – protections supported by nearly all Idahoans and passed by a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers of the legislature.
Many of you have asked questions about this groundbreaking legislation that will save girls’ sports. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions Family Policy Alliance of Idaho has received:
Q: Is the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act unconstitutional? Does it amount to discrimination?
This law isn’t discriminatory. Because it is a scientific fact that biological sex is immutable and there are measurable differences between male and female, it is sometimes appropriate for governments to implement policies that recognize these differences. Consider, for example, sex-segregated bathrooms, sex-specific public health guidelines, and single-sex athletic teams.
Ask any student athlete, high school coach, or parent—allowing biological men to perform in girls’ sports unfairly puts girls at a competitive disadvantage. The size, strength, bone structure, lung volume, and heart supply of the average male far outpaces many elite female athletes, even after the biological male undergoes hormone therapy.
Q: Is the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act exclusionary?
A: Absolutely not. The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act simply clarifies that girls’ sports are for girls, and boys’ sports are for boys. Biological boys can still play in boys’ high school and college sports.
If biological boys are allowed to compete in girls’ sports, then girls will eventually be excluded from sports designed for their benefit and flourishing. This is already happening in many states, including Connecticut, Texas, and Alaska, where biological males keep winning championships, breaking records, and taking opportunities from hardworking girls.
Q: Are the methods outlined in the law for determining sex “invasive” or “intrusive?”
A: No. Students already needed to receive a physical exam before starting practices for school sports, dance, or cheerleading. Doctors performing the physical exam will now simply take note of the biological sex of the student and mark it in the paperwork submitted to the school. If an athlete’s biological sex is disputed, the school athletic director can consult the student’s medical paperwork the school was already required to keep on file.
Q: What was the policy that existed before Fairness in Women’s Sports Act became law?
A: The Idaho High School Activities Association has allowed biological males to play in girls’ high school sports after one year of receiving hormone therapy (usually testosterone suppression therapy). The same was true for Idaho colleges and universities.
We will keep you updated. Thanks for your support and prayers!
Standing with you,
Director of Advocacy