State Sen. Beth Mizell, a Franklinton Republican, has filed a bill for the upcoming 2020 legislative session prohibiting transgender athletes from competing in high school or college sports at publicly funded schools. The bill would require an athlete to compete against the same gender to which they were born, not the one in which they identify.
Mizell’s bill, dubbed the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” reads, “The evidence is unequivocal that starting in puberty, in every sport except sailing, shooting, and riding, there will always be significant numbers of boys and men who would prevail over the best girls and women in head to head competition. Claims to the contrary are simply a denial of science.”
Mizell’s bill is similar to ones filed in the state of Tennessee, Georgia, Washington, New Hampshire and Arizona.
The New Orleans-based Forum for Equality Louisiana, a gay rights group, emailed supporters warning Mizell’s bill represents an attack on their community.
“Hateful bills are being filed by our opponents and this will be a tough session for the LGBTQ community. The legislature has more Far Right Conservatives than ever before and may try to steamroll us with bad bills. It even appears that our enemies can override a veto from Gov. John Bel Edwards,” the email stated.
Edwards, a Democrat, has supported transgender rights in the past. He signed an executive order during his first term offering special protections for transgender people working for state government or companies doing business with the state. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled the order unconstitutional. Edwards hasn’t said if he’d support the “Save Women’s Sports Act.”
Transgender athletes, that is biological males competing against biological females, is a relatively new phenomenon. Not surprisingly, those born male competing with females are beginning to win championships and break records. In Connecticut, two biological male high school transgender athletes, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, competing against females, finished first and second in the 55-meter dash last year. Miller set a new girls indoor record in the race. The year before, the two finished first and second in the 100-meter outdoor championships.
An athlete born male but identifying as female recently won the Women’s World Championship Cycling race in California. In New Zealand last year, Laurel Hubbard, born as a male but identifying as female, won two gold medals at the Pacific Games competing in the women’s division as a weightlifter. CeCe Telfer, also born male, recently became the NCAA Division II National Champion in the 400-meter run in the women’s division.
Still, Congressional Democrats are promoting what they call the “Equality Act.” The bill reads, “Arguments about transgender athletes participating in sports in accordance with their gender identity having competitive advantages have not been borne out.”
A recent Rasmussen poll found only 28% approved of allowing transgender biological males to compete with females.
The real issue here is that a biological female athlete, who trains long and hard for many years to compete at a high level in their sport, could be denied a level playing field by being forced to compete against biological males.
It’s understandable why biological male athletes conflicted about their gender would want to compete against those they most identify with. But in the end, it’s not fair to the female athletes
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association does not have an official policy on transgender athletes. But the organization does have what it describes as a recommended guideline that only students who have undergone sex reassignment should be allowed to compete with a gender different from their birth. As far as I know, no athlete in Louisiana has ever asked to compete on a high school level with a gender different from the one at their birth.
One could argue if biological males are allowed to compete against females, then it will eventually lead to the end of women’s sports as we know it.
Email Dan Fagan at Faganshow@gmail.com.