Hateful bids to ban trans kids from playing sports could ‘evaporate’ under president Joe Biden
Experts are hopeful that lawsuits against trans athletes who want to compete as the correct gender could “evaporate” under president Joe Biden.
Last year, Idaho was supported by Donald Trump in becoming the first state in the US to pass a law banning schools and colleges from letting trans athletes from taking part in girls’ sports as their correct gender identity.
However, it was blocked from being implemented while a legal challenge against the “hateful, unconstitutional” anti-trans law, brought by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho, takes place.
Another bill in Connecticut to block trans athletes at schools from competing as girls in interscholastic sports competitions is also currently supported by the Trump administration.
Similar bills to those in Idaho and Connecticut have also been brought up in 15 other US states.
But with Biden entering the White House this week, there is hope that anti-LGBT+ lawsuits against trans athletes could “evapourate”.
Biden has vowed to reinstate Obama-era guidance which extended Title IX to explicitly protect trans folk across all public school districts, which was repealed by Donald Trump in 2017.
“On his first day in office, Biden will reinstate the Obama-Biden guidance revoked by the Trump-Pence administration, which will restore transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity,” his website reads.
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Elizabeth Sharrow, associate professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts, told AP News that if Congress confirms that Title IX protects trans students, bills passed by individual states will have little significance.
She said: “I think if they do that, lawmakers at the state level can propose laws, but it doesn’t mean those proposals are going to be taken seriously in the legislative bodies they serve in or that if the state passes those laws anyway that they would necessarily be considered legitimate.
“The courts will sort that out.”
Erin Buzuvis, a professor at the Western New England School of Law, said that the challenge to the Idaho case could “set some sort of national standard about what kind of policies states are allowed to have or prohibited to have”.
The Connecticut case, she said, could simply “evaporate” under the Biden administration.
Chase Strangio, ACLU deputy director for transgender justice, added: “States that like Idaho attempt to bar trans girls from girls sports, regardless of age of transition, medical intervention or anything else, with a new federal administration, will now be risking lawsuits by the federal government, Justice Department intervention and the loss of federal funding.”