The Trump administration has backed an
Idaho law that prohibits transgender women and girls from athletic
The law, the first in the nation, was
signed by Governor Brad Little, a Republican, in March and takes
effect on July 1. It received overwhelming support from Republicans
in the House and Senate. Democrats unanimously opposed the measure.
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) and Legal Voice filed a lawsuit challenging the law in April.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) submitted a filing in the case in support of the law,
AP reported. DOJ lawyers argue that the law does not violate the
14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, as is claimed in
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,” the
DOJ's filing states.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF),
which is opposed to LGBT rights, is seeking to intervene in the case.
The ADF, which helped craft the law, applauded the DOJ's stance.
“We commend the DOJ for supporting a
level playing field for female athletes,” the group said in a
The DOJ filing comes just days after
the Supreme Court ruled that LGBT workers are protected from
discrimination under current federal civil rights law. The DOJ had
argued that the law does not prohibit businesses from firing workers
who identify as gay or transgender.
Court: Federal law protects LGBT workers from discrimination.)