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Sports

NCLR’s Sports Project aims to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender players, coaches, and administrators receive fair and equal treatment—free of discrimination. Founded in 2001, the Sports Project has litigated cases on behalf of LGBTQ athletes and coaches, advised schools and athletic associations, and convened key coalitions to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports. NCLR co-founded and participates in a coalition of LGBTQ sports leaders from across the country that works to combat anti-LGBTQ bias in sports. The coalition brings together college and professional athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, political figures, LGBTQ advocates and sports organizations to examine best practices, troubleshoot common problems, and develop strategies to tackles anti-LGBTQ bias at every competition level.

Advocacy

Legislation & Policy

Common Ground Initiative

Nationwide

NCLR partners with the NCAA in the Common Ground Initiative to increase dialogue at conservative religious colleges about how LGBTQ inclusion and respect for religion can operate together to create safer, healthier, and more inclusive environments for student athletes—and by extension for all students.

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Cases & Advocacy

Hecox v. Little

Idaho

In 2020, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed into law HB 500 – the so-called “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” – making Idaho the first state to pass a law banning transgender athletes from participating in sports.

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Resources

Press Release

Utah Court Halts Law Barring Transgender Girls from Playing on Girls’ Sports Teams

August 19, 2022. Today, the Third District Court of Utah issued an order blocking enforcement of a newly enacted law, H.B. 11, that barred all transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams. The court held that the new law likely violates the equality guarantees of the Utah Constitution by singling out transgender girls and barring them from competing on girls’ teams regardless of their individual circumstances. After a two-day hearing, the court concluded that “the Defendants do not offer persuasive reasons to categorically ban all transgender girls from competing on girls’ teams.”

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Publications

First Line of Defense: Essential Legal Protections for LGBTQ Coaches and Staff

There have been many advances in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights. From national marriage equality to increased employment protections, LGBTQ people are taking bold steps toward achieving equal treatment in all fields, including athletics. However, in order to protect your rights, you must first know what they are—at the federal level, at the state and county or city level, and at your employment institutions. Download PDF

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