The Chicago Journal

Is Gender Discrimination Really Gone? AG Barr defends Idaho’s ban on transgender athletes in women’s sports

Sports are for everyone. 

Sports are universal.

From the very beginning, sports have open opportunities for women to showcase their skills and talents in their respective expertise. However, gender discrimination and biases are still rampant and common stereotypes can be seen always. Although there are so many notable female athletes that made their spot remarkable the close-minded one is still there.

The rise of the LGBTQIA + changed the game. The diversity among the gender and identity of each individuals stirred confusion and misunderstanding on which category they should belong with. Is this a big deal? Yes. Equality plays a role in sportsmanship and it run both ways. If sports cannot recognize the diversity in athletes then it is a problem to be addressed dearly. 

Meanwhile, attorney General Bill Barr defended Idaho’s law that bans transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports. In a statement of interest filed Friday, Barr said, “Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports is fundamentally unfair to female athletes.”

This statement have erupted controversies and LGBTQIA+ advocates their disapproval and distaste. Petitions were all over the social media and advocates are voicing out and educating people why it is really discriminatory. 

Barr contended that the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution allows the state to recognize the “physiological differences between biological sexes” in athletics.

“This limitation is based on the same exact interest that allows the creation of sex-specific athletic teams in the first place — namely, the goal of ensuring that biological females have equal athletic opportunities,” Barr explained. “Single-sex athletics is rooted in the reality of biological differences between the sexes and should stay rooted in objective biological fact.”

On March 30, Idaho’s Republican Gov. Brad Little approved the Fairness in Women’s Sports act, which was scheduled to take effect July 1. All girls’ or women’s sports teams would only be open to biological females, not those who identified as women. This controversial law has left nothing but disappointment for athletes with unique identities. As for them, it makes them neglected and uncomfortable. Divisiveness is still rampant and they cannot do anything about for now. Advocates were doing their part to retrieve the declared law that screams of the remarks of discriminatory and unfairness. However the ban applies to all sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities.

The sponsor of the law, Republican state Rep. Barbara Ehardt, has said allowing transgender athletes on women’s and girls’ teams would negate nearly 50 years of progress women have made since the 1972 Title IX legislation that’s credited with opening up sports to female athletes and, along with it, scholarships and other opportunities.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the law, citing violations of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the Fourth Amendment’s protections against invasions of privacy because of tests required should an athlete’s gender be challenged.

The law “illegally targets women and girls who are transgender and intersex and subjects all female athletes to the possibility of invasive genital and genetic screenings,” said Gabriel Arkles, senior staff attorney with the ACLU.

Conservatives have praised the policymakers who are in favor of this. Nevertheless, athletes felt unsecured with the law especially for the members of LGBTQIA+. These untimely changes left a positive and negative impression towards people in sports and no amount of protest is really effective by now. However, the never ending support of other politicians and public figures with the LGBTQIA+ community are continuously growing. The sympathy and understanding must be above all.