Appeals Court Blocks Idaho Ban on Transgender Youth Athletes

Affiliate: ACLU of Idaho
August 17, 2023 1:35 pm

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BOISE, Idaho – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an injunction against an Idaho law barring transgender athletes from participating in student athletics. The court found the law likely violates the rights of transgender students under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“This is an important victory for common sense, equality, and the rights of transgender youth under the law, “ said Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Transgender Justice at the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. “The court found that transgender athletes like Lindsay face irreparable harm by a ban on their right to participate as who they are and held laws like Idaho’s not only target and discriminate against transgender women and girls but also discriminate against all women and girls. Idaho’s ban and all others like it are designed to alienate and stigmatize transgender people and we’ll never stop fighting until all transgender youth are given the equal playing field they deserve. ”

“We are extremely gratified — for Lindsay, and for all trans youth — at the court’s recognition that the law and the facts strongly support treating people who are transgender fairly and equally,” said Kathleen Hartnett of Cooley LLP.

The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Idaho, Legal Voice, and Cooley LLP on behalf of Lindsay Hecox, a student at Boise State University who is transgender and had been planning to try out for the cross-country team and play club soccer, and Kayden Hulquist, a then-senior at Boise High School who is cisgender and was concerned about being subjected to the law’s invasive “sex verification” testing.

The full order from the Ninth Circuit can be found here.

More details on Hecox v. Little can be found here.

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