Idaho has become the first US state to enact laws prohibiting transgender girls and ladies from taking part in women’s sports.
Governor Brad Little signed the two bills into law on Monday, according to Reuters.
The bills, which also restrict trans from changing their birth certificates, have however, been trailed by criticisms particularly from lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) communities.
The Trevor Project, a pro-LGBT+ youth movement, argued that the newly signed laws could further endanger efforts toward stemming the tide of suicide among the trans people.
Sam Brinton, its head of advocacy and government affairs, said young trans people were less likely to consider suicide if they were supported in their identities.
“It is a sad day in the United States when lawmakers are more determined to stop trans young people from playing games than to provide them with the care, support, and opportunities they need to survive and thrive,” Brinton said.
Also speaking, Kara Ingelhart, a lawyer at Lambda Legal, faulted the new law banning trans people from changing their birth certificates, claiming such inhibits proper documentation.
“Transgender people need accurate identity documents to navigate everyday life, and this gratuitous attack puts them back in harm’s way for harassment and even violence,” Ingelhart said.
In his part, Barbara Ehardt, state lawmaker who introduced the bill, said the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” was to protect the rights of girls and women in sports competitions.
“Under this bill, boys and men will not be able to take the place of girls and women in sports because it is not fair,” the lawmaker said.
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