Idaho Governor Brad Little, a Republican, on Monday quietly signed two bills that restrict the rights of people who identify as transgender.

Little signed the legislation as the United States takes over as the country with the most coronavirus cases and government officials warned that as many as 200,000 Americans might die from the pandemic.

House Bill 500 bans transgender women and girls from playing on female high school and college sports teams. The legislation applies to all publicly sponsored sports teams.

Supporters of the bill said that it is needed because transgender women and girls have a physical advantage. Opponents argued that the bill subjects transgender athletes to invasive tests.

The bill, titled the “Fairness in Women's Sports Act,” was sponsored by Senator Mary Souza and Representative Barbara Ehardt.

Ehardt, a Republican, worked with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to craft the bill. The Arizona-based group is opposed to LGBT rights.

According to the Idaho Press, when asked about the bill's constitutional problems that would make it difficult to defend in court, Senator Souza, a Republican, said that the ADF “will be responsible for any legal defense fees.”

The second bill, the “Idaho Vital Statistics Act” or House Bill 509, makes it impossible for transgender people to change their gender marker on a birth certificate.

In 2018, a judge issued a court order requiring Idaho to allow transgender individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

Peter Renn at Lambda Legal said in a statement that lawmakers were “explicitly defying a court order and exposing Idaho taxpayers to footing the bill” for its legal consequences.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, had called on Little to veto the bills. In a statement, the group called the bills “heinous.”

“Idaho is leading the way in anti-transgender discrimination, and at a time when life is hard enough for everyone, Idaho's elected leaders will be remembered for working to make their transgender residents' lives even harder,” HRC President Alphonso David said. “Shame on Gov. Little and the legislators who championed these heinous pieces of legislation.”

With Little's signature, Idaho becomes the first state in the nation with a law restricting transgender participation in high school and college sports.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has said that it plans to file lawsuits challenging both laws.