Fights for women’s rights in the face of the transgender movement are becoming more and more common in our nation. From athletic fields to domestic violence shelters, women’s opportunities are being taken away and their privacy invaded. While several states have passed laws granting biological males equal access to everything specified for females, some states have done the opposite. In Idaho, two laws were recently passed to protect women’s sports and privacy from biological males who identify as female: the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act and the Idaho Vital Statistics Act.
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho was instrumental in helping get these two laws passed, and their Director of Advocacy Blaine Conzatti joins Traci DeVette Griggs on this week’s Family Policy Matters radio show and podcast to discuss the laws, and what type of fights other states can expect to face should they follow suite.
“The Idaho Vital Statistics Act prevents individuals from changing their sex-marker on their birth certificates unless there has been a clerical error,” explains Conzatti. “And this is necessary because in almost every state, biological men are changing their sex-markers on their birth certificate to female, and are therefore able to gain access into female-only domestic violence shelters, or they’re able to demand that they should be housed in female prisons. And this creates a world of mess in the public policy sphere.”
Idaho legislators and Family Policy Alliance of Idaho have faced fierce opposition due to these laws from none other than Planned Parenthood. Conzatti warns that transgender ideology and sex-reassignment is becoming the abortion giant’s new cash cow. “As more and more Planned Parenthoods around the country have been losing access to government dollars for abortions and for women’s health services, Planned Parenthood realized that they needed to update their business model and find a new cash revenue source. And that new cash revenue source is sex changes for minors, gender-affirming care for minors.”
Tune in to Family Policy Matters this week to hear Blaine Conzatti explain more about how we can defend the rights and privacy of women and girls with strong state laws.
TRACI GRIGGS: Thanks for joining us this week for Family Policy Matters. Athletes know all too well the basic scientific fact that males and females are different. Unfortunately, too many politically-motivated individuals in the world of athletics today seem to have forgotten that fact and want to ignore science in favor of a wild west of athletics where biological males who choose to identify as females are allowed to run roughshod over women’s athletic competitions. But in Idaho, lawmakers are standing up for women athletes and science with the recent passage of two important bills—The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act and the Idaho Vital Statistics Act.
We’re joined this week by Blaine Conzatti, he is Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, with whom North Carolina Family Policy Council is proud to partner on a variety of national projects. Blaine and his colleagues worked closely with Idaho lawmakers to get these two landmark pieces of legislation passed. Idaho is in fact the first state in the nation to stand up for women athletes with legislation aimed at enhancing and enforcing Title IX protections.
Blaine Conzatti, welcome to Family Policy Matters.
BLAINE CONZATTI: Thanks Traci.
TRACI GRIGGS: Well, let’s start with the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act that works to preserve the protections in Title IX for women’s athletic programs. What was happening in Idaho that made this law necessary?
BLAINE CONZATTI: So, we’ve been seeing a trend over the last several years in Idaho and other states where biological boys struggling with gender dysphoria are starting to play in girls’ high school and college sports. The most egregious example of this is what is taking place in Connecticut right now where three female track and field athletes, all high school girls, they are suing their high school athletic association because biological boys are breaking the records and winning events in state track and field championships, effectively displacing the girls who have worked so hard for those athletic opportunities. And because of that, the girls are missing out on scholarships for college, they’re placing behind biological boys in meets, and they’re effectively being excluded from their own sports. While biological boys aren’t winning state championships in Idaho high school sports, at least not yet, we want to make sure that it doesn’t happen here.
TRACI GRIGGS: Right. And of course, this flies in the face of hard-won Title IX protections. Could you just briefly tell us, for people that might not be familiar with that, what Title IX is supposed to do?
BLAINE CONZATTI: Title IX protects equal educational opportunities to all, regardless of sex. And while Title IX does protect even the educational sports or athletics opportunities for girls, programs designed for the benefit of females like girls’ sports are threatened by the transgender revolution, which now argues that gender is fluid and that gender trumps biological sex. So in this new paradigm, a biological male with gender-dysphoria is a female, in fact, he is a female and therefore he should be given equal access to programs designed for the benefit of females. This turns Title IX on its head and endangers things like girls’ sports. To save girls’ sports for future generations of girls, we need to make it clear that girls’ sports are for girls, not for biological boys.
TRACI GRIGGS: And even though Title IX is still in federal law, there is a need for this Fairness in Women’s Sports Act?
BLAINE CONZATTI: There is because of the definition of sex and how sex interacts with gender. So as long as people keep arguing that a boy who identifies as a female should be entitled to programs designed for females, Title IX will be threatened.
TRACI GRIGGS: So let’s talk about the second bit of legislation, Idaho Vital Statistics Act. Why was that necessary?
BLAINE CONZATTI: The Idaho Vital Statistics Act says the birth certificate, which is the most important of the vital documents issued by the state, must reflect objective, quantifiable truth. So the information contained in the birth certificate needs to reflect the facts as they existed at the time of birth. And that includes biological sex. The Idaho Vital Statistics Act prevents individuals from changing their sex-marker on their birth certificates unless there has been a clerical error. And this is necessary because in almost every state, biological men are changing their sex-markers on their birth certificate to female, and are therefore able to gain access into female-only domestic violence shelters, or they’re able to demand that they should be housed in female prisons. And this creates a world of mess in the public policy sphere.
You know, there’s a case playing out in Alaska right now where a biological male attempted to gain access to a woman’s domestic violence shelter. And when the government identification documents inaccurately reflect a person’s biological sex, it makes it a lot harder for law enforcement officials to make determinations as to whether someone should be in an area or a space that’s been set aside for the safety and security of girls, whether a locker room or a bathroom or a domestic violence shelter, or even a female prison. Also, in public health it’s really important that the government documents accurately identify the person’s sex, especially when we’re tracing outbreaks and seeing the epidemiological distributions and patterns throughout a population—which public health officials do—they need to know whether that person has been infected as a male or female to see “Is there a discrepancy? Is a certain disease affecting females different than males,” et cetera. For government officials to do their jobs well, we really do need our government documents to accurately reflect a person’s biological sex.
TRACI GRIGGS: Very interesting. So, talk about what were the most important or fruitful conversations or discussions that you had as you work to help get these bills passed?
BLAINE CONZATTI: We worked closely with the legislators who sponsored the bills and with the governor’s staff. With the governor’s staff we work to help them see the importance of these bills. And these are lightning rods, so to speak, especially nationally and the national media were covering both of these laws as they were signed by the governor. It was important to help the governor see why these bills are so necessary for protecting families here in the state of Idaho. And an example of this, the state is currently defending a lawsuit brought by a transgender convicted child molester who wants the state to pay for his sex-reassignment surgery while he’s in prison. And the governor has fought that one really hard, he doesn’t think that the taxpayers should be financially responsible for paying for a sex-change for convicted child predator. Yet the state’s legal case is weakened when people are allowed to change their sex on their birth certificate. If a male prisoner can get their birth certificate sex-marker changed, they have a much stronger legal claim to being housed in a woman’s prison or getting cross-sex hormones for women. The Vital Statistics Act protects against this type of abuse, and once lawmakers started realizing that the level of support for these bills in the State House started rising astronomically.
TRACI GRIGGS: Do you feel like these bills could serve as models for other states?
BLAINE CONZATTI: Yeah, I would love to see these bills put forward in other states. The Fairness in Woman’s Sports Act, almost a dozen state legislatures were considering some form of that this year, and we know that both of these laws will be challenged in court. In fact, two transgender athletes filed a lawsuit just this morning to try to get the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act overturned, but we believe that both of these laws will ultimately survive the court challenges. And regarding the birth certificate issue, we put a lot of time into that law to make it as defensible as possible when the court challenge happens. We think it’s a great model for other states too, that want to reclaim truth and accuracy in their government records by preventing people from changing their sex-markers on their birth certificates.
TRACI GRIGGS: I think we can guess because we probably heard all of these arguments when we were wrestling with HB 2 several years ago, but what are the arguments that you’re hearing in opposition to these two bills?
BLAINE CONZATTI: Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Idaho, they were the two biggest opponents of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act and the Idaho Vital Statistics Act. For your listeners who don’t know, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of cross-sex hormones for minors. They have totally changed their business model in the last few years to focus away in some ways, from providing abortions and contraception, and instead they have really begun to focus their energy and their programs on providing what they call, “gender-affirming care.” And that includes pressuring children into sex changes, often without parental involvement in the process. So Planned Parenthood really sees themselves as advocates for the transgender community. Their argument against these laws is that they’re exclusionary and discriminatory, so it’s exclusionary and discriminatory to not allow boys to play in girls supports or to require that a birth certificate reflect biological sex. Of course, in reality it’s not exclusionary to say that biological boys should play in boys’ sports and biological girls are playing girls sports. If anyone is being excluded, it’s the girls who are losing out on opportunities when they’re pushed out of their own sports by biological males identifying as females. And if you think of what’s happening in Connecticut, they’re the ones who are truly being excluded, biological boys can play in boys sports.
TRACI GRIGGS: Wow. I really don’t want people to miss what you said in that answer because you said that Planned Parenthood is now the largest provider of cross-sex hormones for minors. And I just think that’s astounding because we do understand how persuasive and how well funded Planned Parenthood is. Let’s talk about more specifics, what is Planned Parenthood doing and how aggressively are they going after minors and the parents of minors potentially, that are opposed to allowing gender transition for their sons and daughters?
BLAINE CONZATTI: Planned Parenthood is teaching about transgender ideology in sex-ed classes in schools, and through that they’re able to speak to a large portion of our youth population, telling them that gender dysphoria is something that should be affirmed, and that boys and girls as young as 12 or 13 years old, should begin receiving cross-sex hormones and sex changes. If your parents don’t agree, then they are bigoted and outdated, their views are old fashioned and they don’t understand what’s in the best interest of their child. And so Planned Parenthood will often administer those cross-sex hormones without notifying parents, without receiving parental consent. And they will also do referrals for sex changes to plastic surgeons and other doctors in the area for the child.
TRACI GRIGGS: So Planned Parenthood is being invited many times into schools to teach sex education, and they’re pushing this agenda of gender identity being fluid. All the while they have a financial stake in whether or not the kids decide to go in that direction.
BLAINE CONZATTI: Yeah, absolutely. So as more and more Planned Parenthoods around the country have been losing access to government dollars for abortions and for women’s health services, Planned Parenthood realized that they needed to update their business model and find a new cash revenue source. And that new cash revenue source is sex changes for minors, gender-affirming care for minors.
TRACI GRIGGS: How aggressively are they going after this?
BLAINE CONZATTI: Very aggressively. If you take a look at their promotional materials, if you sign up for their email list, every weekly email that they send out has some story on gender-affirming care. They often now say that they provide women’s health services and health services for transgender-identified individuals. And so they are very aggressively seeking to provide care to the transgender community because they realize just how much financial benefit will come back for them.
TRACI GRIGGS: So what encouragement would you give to our listeners who might be frustrated by increasing attacks that we see on women’s sports, and on just the basic scientific facts related to biological sex?
BLAINE CONZATTI: Be cheerful and loving warriors. This is a battle that we cannot lose; biological sex is immutable, that’s scientifically provable, it’s also necessary sociologically for the proper functioning of families and society. So just keep explaining that God has created each of us with a purpose and a role, and sex is a part of that. He’s created us male and female, and we can flourish as individuals and live our happiest lives only when we recognize God’s good design in all of this.
TRACI GRIGGS: Well, Blaine Conzatti, thank you so much for the trailblazing that you guys are doing out there. And where can our listeners go to learn more about these two laws?
BLAINE CONZATTI: We have material about both of these laws on our website. That’s familypolicyalliance.com.
TRACI GRIGGS: Blaine Conzatti, Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, Thank you so much for being with us on Family Policy Matters.
BLAINE CONZATTI: Thank you Traci, and thanks for the work you guys are doing in North Carolina.