Two college athletes in Idaho who say they have each lost to a transgender athlete want a lawsuit challenging Republican Gov. Brad Little’s “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” to be dismissed.
Little signed the nation’s first “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” on March 30, 2020. The bill, which will take effect July 1, prevents female sports teams from allowing a transgender athlete who identifies as a female to compete, WHIO TV 7 reported. This prevention applies to female teams from public schools, universities and colleges.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in April aimed at preventing the bill from becoming law. The ACLU wrote in its lawsuit that the new law is an invasion of privacy and is discriminatory, WHIO TV 7 reported. They also alleged that the new law violates the 1972 Title IX law and wants it to be scrapped.
The nonprofit group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a motion Tuesday on behalf of college track stars Madison Kenyon, 19 and Mary Marshall, 20, requesting to be a part of the lawsuit. ADF would be on the state’s side and wishes to have ACLU’s lawsuit thrown out.
BREAKING: Idaho athletes seek to intervene in defense of Fairness in Women’s Sports Act
— AllianceDefends (@AllianceDefends) May 26, 2020
Both girls cite a transgender athlete named June Eastwood, who competes for the University of Montana women’s team. Kenyon and Marshall wrote in their declaration’s that Eastwood beat them and expressed the dejection they felt after realizing they would be competing against a biological male.
“I fear that if we are no longer allowed by law to recognize the objective existence of women, that it will be a huge loss to women’s rights,” Kenyon wrote according to a copy of her declaration obtained by the Daily Caller.
Marshall expressed the same worry, adding that if her sport allowed biological men to compete as she was growing up, she may not have continued competing.
“When I lose to another woman, I assume that she must train harder than I do and it drives me to work harder,” Marshall wrote in her declaration, obtained by the Caller. “If I lose to a man, it feels completely different. It’s deflating. I wonder whether he has to work as hard as I do, whether he was even trying, or was that an easy race for him. It makes me think that no matter how hard I try, my hard work and effort will not matter.”
ADF legal counsel Christiana Holcomb said that “girls deserve to compete on a level playing field” and that “putting male athletes up against females is simply not fair” according to a press release.
ADF is also representing three female athletes in a Connecticut transgender athletes case. The three high school athletes in that case filed a lawsuit contesting a policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in female sports. (RELATED: ‘Before I Even Run, I Already Lost’: Teenage Track Star Behind Transgender Lawsuit Speaks Out)