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Martina Navratilova ‘signs letter’ by anti-trans group supporting Idaho’s sickening law banning trans girls from sports

Nick Duffy August 3, 2020
Former tennis star Martina Navratilova

Former tennis star Martina Navratilova (Getty)

Ex-tennis pro Martina Navratilova is reportedly one of 300 athletes who signed a letter supporting the exclusion of trans girls from girls’ sports, organised by activists allied with anti-LGBT+ hate groups.

Navratilova, who has repeatedly criticised transgender inclusion in sport, reportedly headed up a letter from the so-called Save Women’s Sports group opposing a floated National College Athletic Association (NCAA) boycott of Idaho over the state’s anti-trans laws.

Alongside a law that bans transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificates, earlier this year Republicans in the state forced through a measure that bans schools and colleges from letting transgender girls from taking part in girls’ sports.

Under the law, pupils are required to provide medical evidence of their “internal and external reproductive anatomy” if their sex is “disputed” — while those who believe they have been “disadvantaged” by their transgender classmates will be able to sue their schools for “injunctive relief, damages, and any other relief available”.

Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova (Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

The horrific law has been roundly condemned by sporting bodies including the NCAA. On June 10, a coalition of leading human rights groups wrote to the body urging it to relocate all its events from Idaho. The NCAA responded by saying it will consider the issue at a summit in August.

In turn, Save Women’s Sports released an open letter to the NCAA on July 29 pressing them to instead support Idaho.

The letter rails against “bullying tactics” and praises Idaho for “preserving fair competition for women and girls”.

It goes on to call for “women’s sports [to] be protected for biological females”, suggesting trans women and girls could compete within a separate category.

Its more than 300 signatories were mostly redacted, however Navratilova’s name was reportedly first on the list, according to a copy of the letter obtained by OutSports.

Save Women’s Sports ‘allied’ with anti-LGBT+ hate groups.

The group behind the letter, Save Women’s Sports, has transparent ties to the anti-LGBT+ movement whose “concerns” go much deeper than women’s sports.

A list of “allies” on the group’s website is a cornucopia of anti-LGBT conservatives, including the Heritage Foundation — a “White House pipeline” which has opposed everything from LGBT+ military inclusion to same-sex marriage, as well as Alliance Defending Freedom — a listed anti-LGBT+ hate group that works to oppose the decriminalisation of homosexuality internationally.

Also listed is anti-feminist hardline Christian group Concerned Women For America, which has compared homosexuality to incest and claimed that anti-gay hate crimes are fabricated by homosexuals to foster public support.

Another “ally” is the The Family Policy Alliance, which has opposed same-sex adoption and efforts to ban conversion therapy, claiming that homosexuality is linked to childhood sexual abuse.

The Save Women’s Sports website concedes of its unsavoury friends: “As a non-partisan coalition, we do not endorse all of the opinions represented within these links.” It says that links to the groups are shared merely for “education purposes”.

Of course, attempting to explain away ties to the anti-LGBT+ movement as an unfortunate necessity in the name of bipartisanship does little to obscure the face that Save Women’s Sports’ Beth Stelzer personally addressed an anti-transgender rally outside the Supreme Court earlier this year, as it considered whether to give LGBT+ people protection from discrimination the workplace.

In her speech, helpfully filmed by famous feminist allies Breitbart News, the amateur powerlifter lashed out at the “transgender trend” and “gender extremists,” insisting: “Choosing what sex you are is not a human right.”

Meanwhile, as Outsports notes, of the 308 reported signatories to the Save Women’s Sports letter, at least six previously signed an amicus brief in the case opposing full LGBT+ discrimination protections, which established the right for employees not to be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The outlet also notes the apparent involvement of Christiana Holcomb, an attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) who has been quoted in right-wing media coverage of the letter. You will be unsurprised to hear that Holcomb has led anti-trans litigation on behalf of ADF.

PinkNews has contacted Martina Navratilova’s agent for comment.

More: Alliance Defending Freedom, Heritage Foundation, Martina Navratilova, Republican

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