Metro Weekly

Two-thirds of Idaho residents support barring trans athletes from women’s sports

Poll finds that 60% of voters also support barring trans individuals from amending their birth certificates

idaho, trans, athlete, ban

Source: Ted Eytan – Flickr

Two-thirds of voters in Idaho support a recently passed law that bars transgender females from competing in women’s sports, according to a recent poll.

The poll by Spry Strategies, which surveyed 600 likely voters from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, found that 67% of voters support HB 500, which requires individuals to compete in sports based on their assigned sex at birth. That law is currently being challenged by a transgender college athlete and a cisgender high school athlete who fears she will be subjected to genetic testing to “prove” her gender.

Last month, a federal judge issued an injunction blocking the state from enforcing the trans athlete law. The state has also received negative pushback in other ways. The state of California banned all state-sponsored travel to Idaho in protest of the law.

The NCAA, which initially opposed the law because it conflicts with its own policy on transgender athletes, is slated to vote in October on whether it will move the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament from Boise to punish the state for passing the law.

The poll also found similar support, at 60%, for another recently passed law, which was struck down last month, that prohibits transgender Idahoans from changing the gender marker on their birth certificates.

A similar 60% of voters said that transgender women shouldn’t be incarcerated in female prisons, or be allowed to use female-designated changing rooms or restrooms.

Nearly 86% said minors who identify as transgender should not be allowed to undergo gender confirmation surgery or take puberty-blocking hormones. 

The poll was commissioned by the Women’s Liberation Front, a self-described “radical feminist organization” that is critical of the concept of gender identity and opposes pro-transgender laws on the grounds that they infringe on women’s rights.

The Women’s Liberation Front has previously worked with conservatives to support bills like the trans athlete law and the birth certificate bill, urging Gov. Brad Little to sign both into law, according to the Post Register, an Idaho Falls-based newspaper.

“The policies being pushed by gender extremists cut against the majority opinions of likely voters in both California, and Idaho,” Natasha Chart, the chairwoman of the board of the Women’s Liberation Front, said in a statement. “They should stop trying to win this debate by falsely describing themselves as representing the popular will.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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