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NCAA says it will review Idaho’s transgender law in August

UPDATED: Thu., June 11, 2020

Idaho Gov. Brad Little speaks during a news conference in Boise on March 25, 2020. Student government leaders at Idaho’s public four-year universities are criticizing Little for signing two bills that limit the rights of transgender people. (Darin Oswald / AP)
Idaho Gov. Brad Little speaks during a news conference in Boise on March 25, 2020. Student government leaders at Idaho’s public four-year universities are criticizing Little for signing two bills that limit the rights of transgender people. (Darin Oswald / AP)
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — NCAA officials will discuss Idaho’s law banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports amid calls for the organization to move men’s basketball tournament games scheduled to be played in the state next March.

In a statement Thursday, the NCAA said it plans to discuss the law’s implications for student-athletes during a Board of Governors meeting in August.

The NCAA statement came a day after groups that advocate for civil rights and women’s rights joined notable athletes in asking the organization to move NCAA tournament games out of the state. Boise State is scheduled to host first- and second-round games in March.

The NCAA had previously issued a statement opposing the Idaho law and had previously banned events in North Carolina in 2016 after passage of a law there that excluded gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide anti-discrimination protections. The North Carolina law also required transgender people to use restrooms in schools and state government buildings that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.

The North Carolina law was repealed a year later and the NCAA lifted its ban on events in the state.

In March, Republican Gov. Brad Little signed the Idaho measure that received overwhelming support in the Republican-dominated House and Senate, but no support from Democrats.

The ban applies to all sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. A girls’ or women’s team will not be open to transgender students who identify as female.

Backers said the law is needed because transgender female athletes have physical advantages.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice filed a lawsuit contending the law violates the U.S. Constitution because it is discriminatory and an invasion of privacy.

The groups also said the law scheduled to take effect July 1 is a violation of Title IX, the 1972 law that bars sex discrimination in education.

Two plaintiffs are bringing the lawsuit. One is an unnamed Boise area high school student who is cisgender. Cisgender refers to someone whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person was identified as having at birth.

The other is Lindsay Hecox, 19, who will be a sophomore this fall at Boise State and hopes to qualify for the women’s cross-country team. She competed on the boys’ team at a Moorpark, California, high school before transitioning after graduation.

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