California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on June 22 that state employees would soon be banned from taking publicly funded trips to Idaho because of two recently passed laws that legislators say “take active steps to enforce discriminatory regimes against transgender[s].”
“Where states legislate discrimination, California unambiguously speaks out,” said Becerra in a press release. “The state of Idaho has taken drastic steps to undermine the rights of the transgender community, preventing people from playing sports in school or having documentation that reflects their identity. Let’s not beat around the bush: these laws are plain and simple discrimination.”
The two laws in question are House Bill 500, also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, and House Bill 509. H.B. 500 mandates involvement in school sports be determined by biological sex rather than gender identity—meaning boys who identify as female would be barred from competing in girls sports. And H.B. 509 prohibits a person from changing the biological sex on their birth certificate.
Becerra’s announcement came the day before the 48th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 that outlawed sex discrimination in all aspects of education, including athletics.
Blaine Conzatti, director of advocacy for the Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, called it a “surprising move.”
“Title IX was designed to protect women’s opportunities, and one of the key ways it’s been used to accomplish that is through giving women their own sports teams,” he said in a press release. “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act protects the spirit of Title IX by ensuring that girls’ sports are reserved for girls.
“Girls deserve fair play and equal opportunities in sports today just as much as they did in 1972 when Title IX was implemented,” Conzatti added. “California liberals and the ACLU are sending the message that female athletes who don’t want to compete against biological men are ‘bigoted’ and ‘intolerant.’
“In reality, they just want to compete in sports on a level playing field. This gaslighting of Idaho girls needs to stop. There is nothing discriminatory about laws that protect fair play and equal opportunities for female athletes.”
The travel ban is set to take effect on July 1 and will apply to all state agencies, authorities, boards, commissions and departments, including those tied to the public university system of California.
Idaho will join a list of 11 other states that California has banned travel to: Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.