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The Trump Administration Backs Female Athletes in Idaho Lawsuit

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to bar employment discrimination against homosexuals and people who pretend to be the opposite sex, Christians must press on and continue defending the cause of religious freedom. The implications of this creeping fluidity of the meaning of words are far-reaching in the areas of religious freedom for everyone and equal opportunities for women.

For example. four high school girls in Connecticut filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education and a lawsuit against Connecticut over the state’s policy allowing boys pretending to be girls to compete against actual girls in sports. The four girls, who run track, have lost races and championship opportunities competing against boys, who are larger, taller, stronger, and faster.

In response to this growing trend, Governor Brad Little of Idaho signed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act into law to protect women’s equal opportunities in athletics and fair competition in high school and college sports. Men are barred from competing in women’s sports. After the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the state, two female track runners in Idaho sought to intervene in the lawsuit.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represents all six of these female athletes. ADF announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a statement of support in the Idaho case.

The DOJ contended that the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act complies with the Equal Protection Clause and that the ACLU can’t “seriously maintain that every biological male has a constitutional right to participate on athletic teams limited to biological females.” From the statement (PDF):

Plaintiffs appear to ask this Court to create an exception to equal-protection precedent for biological males who identify as transgender. But an athlete’s transgender status does not alter the equal-protection analysis here. Refusing to provide a special exemption for biological males if and only if they are transgender is hardly a denial of equal protection on the basis of sex, especially when such an exemption would harm biological females. Rather, Plaintiffs’ requested special exemption would actually require Idaho to engage in discrimination on the basis of gender identity, by compelling the State to discriminate against biological males whose gender identity reflects their biological sex. [emphasis in original]

The DOJ argued that the Bostock ruling doesn’t alter the statement’s equal-protection analysis.

Bostock was about employment, but opponents of religious freedom and fairness for women will cite this landmark case in their complaints and lawsuits to deprive anyone who disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle of their fundamental rights.

“The DOJ correctly points out that the Constitution’s ‘Equal Protection Clause allows Idaho to recognize the average physiological differences between the biological sexes in athletics’ and to refuse to give special treatment to males who demand access to girls’ teams,” ADF lawyer Christiana Holcomb said. “By protecting all-girls’ sports, the state is ensuring that female athletes continue to enjoy equal opportunities to compete for and enjoy the life-long benefits that flow from school athletics. That’s good news for our clients and all female athletes who simply seek fairness in sports.”

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