Barr sides with Idaho law blocking transgender athletes from women’s sports

This spring, Idaho passed legislation designed to protect female athletes from having to compete against those who are biologically male.

The liberal American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quickly challenged the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” in federal court. However, the state isn’t fighting alone, as Attorney General Bill Barr just stepped in to defend the ban.  

“Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports is fundamentally unfair to female athletes,” the Daily Caller quoted Barr as saying in a statement.

DOJ: Law recognizes “inherent physiological differences”

“Under the Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause allows Idaho to recognize the physiological differences between the biological sexes in athletics,” Barr stated.

“Because of these differences,” Barr continued, “the Fairness Act’s limiting of certain athletic teams to biological females provides equal protection.”

“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,” he said.

“Single-sex athletics is rooted in the reality of biological differences between the sexes and should stay rooted in objective biological fact,” Barr added.

DOJ steps in

A Justice Department press release laid out the basis for its “statement of interest,” pointing to “inherent physiological differences between men and women” that “generally give men a significant advantage in head-to-head competition.”

It notes that “the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution 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.”

“Put differently, the Constitution does not require Idaho to provide the special treatment plaintiffs request, under which biological males are allowed to compete against biological females if and only if the biological males are transgender.”

Public opinion

Last year, the Daily Caller reported on a Rasmussen poll that said only 29 percent of Americans favor allowing those who are biologically male to compete against female athletes while 51 percent said they were opposed. A remaining 20 percent reported feeling unsure.

The Daily Caller went on to add that opposition was particularly strong among African Americans, with 57 percent expressing opposition to the idea.

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