A federal district court in Idaho granted two collegiate track athletes, Madison Kenyon and Mary Kate Marshall, permission to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU challenging the state’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. The law, a first-of-its-kind in the nation, mandates that if a team is designated for girls or women, only biological females compete in it.
The law is meant to protect the safety and fairness of girls and women’s sports by ensuring biological girls won’t be forced to compete with and against biological boys and men. Predictably, the ACLU and another group challenged the law, HB 500, in an attempt to force female athletes to compete against biological male athletes who identify as female.
Yesterday’s decision by a federal district court means that Madison and Mary Kate, who run track and cross-country at Idaho State University in Pocatello, will be able to legally defend the law by sharing their experiences, having already competed against biological men who identify as women.
“I believe that allowing males to enter women’s sports defeats an entire aspect of sports: It eliminates the connection between an athlete’s effort and her success,” Kenyon said in a press release. “Sex separation in sports helps ensure that males and females each enjoy opportunities for fair competition and victory. It helps ensure that, if women like me work hard, that hard work pays off, and we have a shot at winning.”
“I want to preserve the camaraderie and sisterhood that comes from competing with and against females only,” added Marshall. “I want other young women to benefit from sports as I did.”
Alliance Defending Freedom represented Madison and Mary Kate in their motion to intervene. In addition to granting the request, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho also temporarily paused enforcement of Idaho’s law while the ACLU’s lawsuit against it proceeds.
The ACLU contends that the Idaho law violates both the U.S. Constitution and Title IX, which bars sex discrimination in any educational program that receives federal funding. However, supporters of the law maintain that forcing female athletes to compete against biological males is discriminatory against women.
Voters support protecting fairness in women’s sports by a 3-to-1 margin, according to a Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen. The poll found that only 21 percent of respondents believe biological males should be allowed to participate in women’s athletic competitions, despite what the media would have you think.
Those of us in the majority on this issue might not have our voices represented in the press, but thankfully, we now have our voices represented in the lawsuit challenging Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act thanks to two brave collegiate track athletes who are stepping up to defend it.
IWF interviewed Madison and Mary Kate in July. Watch it here.