(CBS4) – A law banning some transgender student-athletes from competing in Idaho went into effect last month. While many states, including Colorado, have introduced similar bills, Idaho is the first state to have passed such legislation.
Now, a Colorado athlete is joining the fight for an even playing field.
Madison Kenyon is a Women’s Track and Field Cross Country runner at Idaho State University. She’s from Johnstown, Colorado.
During her freshman season last year, she raced against June Eastwood, the first transgender student-athlete to compete in Cross Country in Division I. Kenyon lost to Eastwood in a meet and thought that was unfair since Eastwood was born a male.
“When you look at a lot of the facts and how a male body develop, their puberty and all the advantages that they have biologically have on a female, it really bugged me,” Kenyon said.
Kenyon and her teammate Mary Marshall are partnering with the Alliance of Defending Freedom who are siding with Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Signed by Idaho’s Gov. Brad Little on March 30, the act makes Idaho the first state to ban transgender athletes from competing in female sports.
The American Civil Liberties Union strongly opposes the Women’s in Sports Act and is calling for the NCAA to pull all events from the state.
The group claims the law blatantly targets an already marginalized community in athletics and decreases their participation in sports.
The NCAA responded to the ACLU’s demand by restating its opposition to the law, saying that it is “harmful to transgender student-athletes and conflicts with the NCAA’s core values of inclusivity, respect and the equitable treatment of all individuals.”
That is not how Keyon views the Women’s in Sports Act.
“I feel like when girls talk about this, they get a lot of backlash, and it shouldn’t be like that because this is just promoting fair competition. And we just want to have the opportunities that Title IX is supposed to protect to us.”
The NCAA says it will announce whether it will pull its events out of Idaho later this month.