Little Takes a Big Step for Women

March 31, 2020

Idaho Governor Brad Little (R), facing a deadline to act upon bills passed by his state's legislature this year's session, signed two bills Monday to protect the integrity of classifications on the basis of biological sex. House Bill 500, the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, specifies that only biological females (as determined by reproductive anatomy, levels of natural testosterone, and genetic makeup) are permitted to compete on sports teams that are designated for females, girls, or women in public schools or colleges. It would be ironic -- and tragic -- if all the gains made for women's sports as a result of the 1972 federal law known as Title IX were to be thrown out by requiring women to compete against those who have an unfair competitive advantage -- namely, biological males. Blaine Conzatti of the Family Policy Alliance of Idaho noted that "Idaho is the first state in the nation to enact this law protecting athletic opportunities for girls."

House Bill 509, the Idaho Vital Statistics Act, requires that birth certificates issued in the state record the child's "sex" at birth, which is defined on the basis of chromosomes and anatomy. The sex on a birth certificate may be subsequently amended only in cases of clerical error, "fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact," or a disorder of sexual development. The two new laws were routinely referred to in the media as "anti-transgender" bills, but might better be thought of as "truth about biological sex" bills, since they merely give legal priority to the objective reality of biological sex, rather than adopting the novel ideological construct that a person's subjective and self-selected "gender identity" is more important.

Credit should be given to both the legislature and to Gov. Little for not being intimidated by threats of lawsuits or of corporate boycotts from titans like Nike, and instead standing up for the common sense that "sex" means innate biological sex.