Attorneys fighting the state of Idaho’s ban on transgender women competing in interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics hope to stall its coming implementation and enforcement at a hearing Wednesday in Boise. The law went into effect on July 1.
According to a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union, a part of the legal coalition in the case of Hecox v. Little, the ACLU has three aims for this hearing. First, to seek a preliminary injunction against enforcement of HB 500 before the start of the fall school year; Such an injunction could allow the case’s lead plaintiff an opportunity to compete. Lindsay Hecox, a transgender woman and Boise State University sophomore seeking to run cross country for the school this coming fall, is eligible to compete for the BSU women's team under the NCAA’s 9-year-old policy pertaining to transgender student-athletes, but the recently-enacted state law prohibits her from competing.
The hearing will also decide if the lawsuit will be allowed to move forward or be dismissed. One of the ACLU’s attorneys on the case placed the stakes to be decided in this and further proceedings in sharp focus via Twitter.
On Wednesday we will have our first hearing over HB500 in Idaho. The contested terrain over sexed bodies in law continues and this will be a critical fight.— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) July 20, 2020
Strangio’s statement refers to Hecox’s intent to compete and another key piece of this law. HB 500 mandates gender verification regulations that much of elite athletics abandoned more than 20 years ago. Hecox is concerned about the university requiring a genital check just for her to run. “HB 500 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 American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project. Any girl or woman suspected of being trans could be required to undergo this humiliating process.
Two supporters of the law are also under examination in this hearing. The court will determine if two cisgender women who are student-athletes at Idaho State University, Madison Kenyon and Mary Kate Marshall, will be allowed to intervene in the case and speak in favor of the law. Both athletes, who claimed duress in competing against a transgender female student-athlete in Montana, are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization that has been the political and financial fulcrum behind this law.