Idaho has become the first state to enact important legislation protecting women’s athletics.
On March 18, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” (or House Bill 500) passed the state legislature 54-16. And just last week, Governor Brad Little signed this historic bill into law, ensuring that women and girls have a level playing field when competing in athletics.
This is great news!
The Growing Threat
Right now, women’s sports are facing a potentially fatal risk. Across the world, many athletic organizations representing a variety of different sports have adopted policies allowing male athletes who identify as female to participate in women’s sports.
If this trend continues, it may mean the end of women’s sports. Common sense tells us—and science proves—that men have many physical advantages over women in athletics. Males are generally faster and stronger; they have more muscle mass, greater bone density, and even greater lung capacity.
If males are permitted to compete in women’s athletics, women will lose out on opportunities to compete and experience the thrill of victory. And we don’t need to analyze a hypothetical situation to know this. We have a real-life example playing out in Connecticut, where the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) allows males to compete in high school women’s athletics.
The result? Two male athletes who identify as female have swept the competition in women’s track. These two athletes have taken 15 state championship titles that were previously held by nine different girls in 2016. Many girls have been pushed from their rightful spot on the podium, and they’ve missed out on chances to compete in front of college scouts, losing potential scholarship opportunities.
Stepping Up for Women’s Sports
In February, three high school athletes—Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, and Alanna Smith—filed a lawsuit against the CIAC to challenge its unfair policy. And the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently filed a statement of interest in the case, supporting these girls.
The DOJ’s actions and Idaho’s landmark law show that the movement to save women’s sports is clearly underway.
But, already, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around about the Fairness for Women in Sports Act. For example, activists are alleging that the act will “ban” some student athletes from participating in sports. This is completely false. No athlete will be prevented from competing under this law. Instead, every athlete will have the freedom to compete on teams with other members of their biological sex or on teams designated as co-ed. This ensures that women and girls will continue to have the athletic opportunities that they have received since Title IX was passed in the 1970’s.
Several states are considering similar legislation. Hopefully more states follow Idaho’s lead and preserve women’s sports. Because if males are permitted to compete in women’s athletics, girls will become spectators in their own sports. And we cannot allow that to happen.
Would you add your name to this petition calling for the athletic and academic futures of young women across the country to be protected?
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