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Transgender Athlete Bills Heard in Wisconsin Legislature

By on May 26, 2021 0
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MADISON – Republicans who control the state legislature hold hearings Wednesday on legislation banning transgender athletes from competing in women’s and women’s school sports – a proposal opposed by nearly 20 groups, including the national body that oversees sports in high school.

The proposed policy is likely doomed under Democratic government Tony Evers, but the spotlight is shining in Wisconsin and dozens of other states on transgender children, raising alarm bells for school officials who oversee athletics and athletics. student welfare, according to state of lobbying records.

“This legislation focuses only on the competitive aspect of sport and not on the intrinsic benefits derived from participation and inclusion,” the Wisconsin Interschool Athletic Association said in testimony prepared for Wednesday’s hearings.

“This legislation unnecessarily targets – intentionally or unintentionally – a vulnerable segment of young people who could further isolate them and only exacerbate their vulnerability and create divisions.”

The bill’s author, Representative Barb Dittrich, R-Oconomowoc, says the legislation preserves integrity in sports for women and girls, and supporters say it is proactive in preventing large numbers of ‘transgender students to participate in female and female school sports in the future.

“I am inspired by the dedication and athleticism of the female athletes who have competed before me. I view this bill as proactive protective legislation for future generations of female athletes who, like me, hope to break records, winning trophies and getting scholarships and accolades for our own athletic accomplishments, ”the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel told the Milwaukee Journal earlier this month Airiana Lynch, a sophomore lacrosse student at Arrowhead Union High School in County Waukesha.

In testimony, the WIAA said the group already had long-standing rules to prevent boys from playing female sports and testosterone suppression therapy requirements for transgender female athletes. Out of 750,000 school competitions scheduled over the past six years, the group said it had heard no concerns at the time about the loss of opportunities due to transgender athletes.

Two Assembly committees overseeing K-12 and higher education legislation will hold a hearing on the two bills on Wednesday. A third Senate committee will begin its hearing at 11 am on the same bill.

Eighteen groups have registered against the two bills and none have been in favor since Tuesday. The legislation is opposed by several groups representing school administrators, social workers and psychologists. Civil rights lawyers in the Wisconsin State Bar Association and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other groups, are also opposed to the bill.

“The Wisconsin School Psychologists Association (WSPA) supports breaking down barriers for students and ensuring that all students feel welcome in safe and inclusive learning environments,” the group wrote in its registration against the law Project. “We oppose this bill because we stand up for all of our students.”

The policy proposal is also fueling political divide here and across the country where similar legislation has been introduced in more than 30 states.

“We are bringing together so many great Conservative laws into one hearing that the Liberals’ heads are going to explode,” Senator André Jacque, R-De Pere, said on a May 20 Conservative radio show of Wednesday’s hearing. on bills will include bills related to access to abortion.

In practice, the legislation directly affects very few, if any, athletes.

In Wisconsin, sports association officials have not identified any transgender college athlete and estimated that they have received only four inquiries about the male-to-female transition at the high school level in the past six years. Michigan lawmakers held a hearing on the same proposal on Tuesday, where the state high school athletic association testified that it only makes an average of just two requests per year about its transgender policy.

Evers on Monday refrained from promising to veto the legislation, but in 2015, as state superintendent, he opposed legislation that would have forced transgender students to use toilets at associated schools the sex designated at birth.

“Anytime we take a certain group of kids and stop them from reaching their full potential, that’s a problem,” Evers said Monday. “Calling them is just not a step in the right direction for them or their communities.”

Tom Dombeck of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin contributed to this report.

Contact Molly Beck at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @MollyBeck.

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