Idaho Falls, IDAHO – Is Idaho being excluded from Federal meetings due to Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act? The idea may warrant a closer look after Idaho wasn’t invited to a meeting held by President Biden on Western wildfires.

Governor Brad Little and Montana Governor Greg Gianforte were excluded from a meeting with President Joe Biden earlier this week about Western wildfires, despite the states facing  the possibility of severe wildfires this season. Only eight governors – mostly Democrats – were invited to attend. Governors in attendance included Oregon, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington and Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. 

In response, Governors Little and Gianforte sent Biden a letter on Wednesday, urging him to commit to an “active, responsive” partnership with states in wildfire response, preparedness, and active land management to reduce fire risk.

A notable political distinction between Idaho, Montana, and the eight states invited to the meeting is that Montana and Idaho have laws that would bar transgender girls and women from participating in girls and women’s sports. 

The Biden Administration has been very vocal about its support for transgender athletes since the President took office just a little over six months ago. Shortly after taking office, the administration withdrew from a transgender athlete case in Connecticut. He also made an executive order stating that any educational institutions that receive federal funding must allow transgender athletes to participate in female sports.

During the Trump administration, the White House supported the Connecticut lawsuit. Seventeen states passed similar legislation to Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. 

Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, sponsored by Rep. Barabra Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, seeks to protect Title IX sports by prohibiting biological boys and men from playing on girls and women’s sports teams in Idaho. This bill was passed during the 2020 Idaho Legislative session. This bill is currently working its way through the Court system in a case known as Lindsay Hecox v. Idaho. 

The two Western states with Republican governors – Utah and Wyoming – that were invited to the wildfires meeting, have no laws that bar transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports. Utah was close to having similar legislation put in place; however, Governor Spencer Cox did not feel comfortable signing House Bill 302.  

KID contacted Governor Little’s Office and was told that there has been no communication between the White House and the Governor’s office about the wildfire meeting with the President.