Trump administration backs Idaho transgender sports ban

A recently passed Idaho law banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports — the first such law in the nation — is receiving backing from the Trump Administration.

The support came in the form of a court filing submitted by the U.S. Department of Justice, saying a federal judge considering a lawsuit challenging the ban should conclude that the law does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

The ban prohibits transgender students who identify as female from playing on female teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. The ban does not apply to men’s teams.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice women’s rights group that filed the lawsuit in April, contending the law violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because it is discriminatory. The groups also say the new law is a violation of Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in education.

The Justice Department wrote that the “Equal Protection Clause does not require states to abandon their efforts to provide biological women with equal opportunity to compete for, and enjoy the life-long benefits that flow from, participation in school athletics in order to accommodate the team preferences of transgender athletes.”

Republican Gov. Brad Little on March 30 signed into law the measure that received overwhelming support in Idaho’s Republican-dominated House and Senate. It takes effect July 1st, though the lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent that. (AP)