California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday the state will bar state-funded travel to Idaho as a result of two new laws, including one that limits participation in girls’ sports to biological girls.
Both Idaho laws have received nationwide attention.
The Idaho Fairness in Women’s Sports Act requires biological sex – and not gender identity – to be used in determining who plays on high school and college sports teams. In Connecticut, two transgender athletes who are biologically male but identity as female won 15 state high school track titles.
The other law, the Idaho Vital Statistics Act, prevents the changing of a person’s sex on a birth certificate.
“Where states legislate discrimination, California unambiguously speaks out,” Becerra said. “The State of Idaho has taken drastic steps to undermine the rights of the transgender community, preventing people from playing sports in school or having documentation that reflects their identity. Let’s not beat around the bush: these laws are plain and simple discrimination.”
California now bans state-funded travel to 12 states it says discriminate against LGBT individuals. The others are Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
A press release from Becerra said the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act “overrules existing local school policies in Idaho and directly works to ban transgender girls and women from school sports.”
The Department of Justice defended the sports law in court last week.
“The Fairness Act’s limiting of certain athletic teams to biological females provides equal protection because the limitation is based on the same exact interest that allows the creation of sex-segregated athletic teams in the first place – namely, the goal of ensuring that biological females have equal athletic opportunities,” the DOJ’s brief said.
The text of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act says, “physiological differences” exist between men and women that make men generally stronger and faster and “generally give men a significant advantage in head-to-head competition.”
The California restriction on state-funded travel to Idaho goes into effect July 1.
Photo courtesy: ©Kayla Koslosky
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.