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LGBTQ athletes voice support for Idaho’s trans student athletes

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SAN FRANCISCO — On Monday, tennis player Billie Jean King, U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team Co-Captain Megan Rapinoe, and WNBA player Candace Parker joined nearly 200 women athletes to support providing transgender girls and women the opportunity to participate in sports.

Lambda Legal said in a press release that the athletes joined Athlete Ally and the Women’s Sports Foundation as signatories to a friend-of-the-court brief Lambda Legal filed Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The brief urges the court to affirm a lower court ruling enjoining an Idaho law that effectively banned transgender girls from participating sports in schools. Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization that advocates for LGBTQ inclusion in sports. The Women’s Sports Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on enabling girls and women in sports.

“There is no place in any sport for discrimination of any kind,” King said. “I’m proud to support all transgender athletes who simply want the access and opportunity to compete in the sport they love.  The global athletic community grows stronger when we welcome and champion all athletes – including LGBTQI+ athletes.”

The Idaho legislature passed H.B. 500 in March. Called “Fairness in Women’s Sports,” Lambda Legal said it effectively bans trans girls and women, and some who are intersex, from participating in sports, while inviting invasions of privacy against all girls and women in sports. In August, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho granted an injunction sought by the ACLU and the ACLU of Idaho on behalf of two students preventing implementation of the ban while the case winded its way through the courts. The State of Idaho has appealed that ruling to the Ninth Circuit.

“The dozens of athletes joining this brief – many internationally recognized stars, while others still in college and high school – share one thing in common: a deep understanding and appreciation of the life-long benefits that come from participation in sports. They acknowledge they would not have accessed these benefits without the guarantee of equal opportunity to participate in sports in primary, secondary, and university schools,” Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Carl Charles said in the release.

Read the full brief here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/hecox_id_20201221_amicus-176-athletes-et-al.

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