By Kaylee Greenlee and Peter Hasson
Bills restricting transgender students’ involvement in school-sponsored athletics are up for consideration in 14 states, according to the left-wing Human Rights Campaign.
Legislatures adjourned amid the coronavirus pandemic, so actions have not been taken on pending bills, Axios reported. However, special sessions are likely to resume in the coming weeks and it’s possible the transgender bills may receive attention.
“We don’t know what special sessions will hold,” Cathryn Oakley, the Human Rights Campaign’s state legislative director and senior counsel, told Axios.
Oakley anticipates special sessions will start as soon as late July, telling Axios: “if they say, ‘You know, we were only in session for a month so consider this a new general session,’ I anticipate we’ll see these bills pop back up.”
A poll released in November 2019 found that less than a third of Americans believe biological males who identify as transgender should be allowed to compete on girls’ sports teams. Another poll released in October 2019 found that Americans said by a 57-20 margin that male athletes who self-identify as transgender have competitive advantages over female athletes.
"Single-sex athletics is rooted in the reality of biological differences between the sexes."
AG Barr threw his support behind the Idaho state government for preventing transgender people from participating in women's sports.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 19, 2020
Transgender athletes were prohibited from competing with women’s sports teams in public schools, colleges and universities in Iowa after Republican Gov. Brad Little signed a bill into law in March, Axios reported.
The American Civil Liberties Union claimed the law infringes on students’ Fourth and 14th Amendment protections and filed a suit against the law, Axios reported.
Idaho is not in violation of the Constitution by denying support of “special treatment…under which biological males are allowed to compete against biological females if and only if the biological males are transgender,” according to Attorney General William Barr.
According to Oakley, 66 bills were recently introduced against transgender involvement in school-sponsored sports and 25 are still under consideration, Axios reported.
Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington are all considering bills to inhibit transgender athletes from participating in school-sponsored sports, Axios reported.
The Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union and Little did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for further comment.
Public schools will be forced to allow biological males on female sports teams if Joe Biden wins, according to Biden
If former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election in November, public schools across the country would be forced to allow biological males who identify as transgender girls to compete in girls’ sports, according to Biden’s public statements.
Though Biden has been slow to talk about the transgender athlete issue specifically — his campaign didn’t return multiple emails seeking comment — he previously pledged to pass the Equality Act within his first 100 days of taking office. The bill would require public schools to allow biological males who identify as transgender girls to compete in girls’ sports.
The Equality Act passed the House with unanimous support from Democrats in May 2019 but didn’t come up for a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. While Republicans currently hold 53 Senate seats, five current GOP seats are considered tossups in November, according to the Cook Political Report. Republicans are expected to flip just one Democratic Senate seat: that of Alabama Sen. Doug Jones.
After Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders touted an endorsement from popular podcast host Joe Rogan, who has been outspoken against the idea of biological males competing in female athletics, Biden said that “there is no room for compromise” on transgender issues, which he called the “civil rights issue of our time.” Biden’s campaign press secretary Jamal Brown demanded Sanders disavow Rogan’s “transphobic” comments.
The transgender athlete issue has resurfaced after President Donald Trump’s Department of Education sided with high school girls suing the state of Connecticut over its transgender policy and his Department of Justice threw its support behind an Idaho law restricting girls’s sports to biological females.
Twenty-eight congressional Democrats signed a letter last week condemning the Department of Education for ruling that public schools shouldn’t allow biological males who identify as transgender to play girls’ sports.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito predicted that one effect of the court’s June 15 ruling in the Bostock case “may be to force young women to compete against students who have a very significant biological advantage, including students who have the size and strength of a male but identify as female and students who are taking male hormones in order to transition from female to male.”
A poll released in November 2019 found that less than a third of Americans believe biological males who identify as transgender should be allowed to compete on girls’ sports teams. Another poll in October 2019 found that Americans said by a 57-20 margin that male athletes who self-identify as transgender have competitive advantages over female athletes.
Biological males who identify as transgender have racked up accomplishments in female athletics.
Franklin Pierce University runner CeCe Telfer, for example, won an NCAA DII women’s track championship in May 2019. Telfer is a biological male who identifies as transgender and previously competed on the university’s women’s team.
University of Montana runner June Eastwood, a biological male who identifies as a transgender woman, was named the Big Sky Conference’s female athlete of the week in October 2019. Like Telfer, Eastwood also competed on the university’s men’s team before switching to the women’s team.
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