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Idaho governor signs anti-transgender legislation into law

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Monday signed into law two anti-transgender bills.

The Republican governor approved legislation that prohibits transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, and another that bans transgender girls and women from competing in women's sports.

The birth certificate measure ignores a 2018 federal court ruling that a past law barring transgender people from making the birth certificate changes violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The judge scrapped the ban and warned against new rules. The Idaho attorney general's office said it could cost $1 million if the state had to defend the ban again and lost.

Backers say the law is needed so Idaho has accurate birth records.

The sports 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.

“As we look at the culture we’re in right now to have opportunities taken away from girls and women by boys and men it’s not right it absolutely not right,” said Rep. Ehardt, (R) Idaho Falls.

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

Opponents said it discriminated against transgender girls and women, and would subject athletes to invasive tests to prove their gender, likely causing some potential athletes to avoid sports.

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"Idaho is now a national innovator in discrimination, having passed and signed into law first-of-its-kind anti-transgender legislation. It also becomes the first state in the country this year to enact legislation that specifically singles out the transgender community for discriminatory treatment," said the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization.

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