Wisconsin bills seek to ban transgender athletes

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 11:32 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Transgender athletes would be banned from participating in girls’ and women’s sports in Wisconsin from kindergarten through college under bills introduced by Republican lawmakers.

The proposals unveiled Tuesday come as more than a dozen other states consider similar measures.

The Wisconsin proposal faces an almost certain veto from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers should it pass the Republican-controlled Legislature. Republican sponsor Rep. Barb Dittrich says Evers would be a sexist if he doesn’t support her proposals.

“It’s actually making sure that everybody has an opportunity. It’s making the circle bigger, not smaller,” she said.

The bill would ban transgender athletes from playing sports, outside their assigned sex, but it would also create a third, co-ed category, open to anyone regardless of gender.

Dittrich added, “This actually preserves the titles, the records, the scholarships, for women to excel in sports as was originally intended under Title IX.”

Opponents say such proposals violate Title IX of federal education law prohibiting sex discrimination. Under the bills, transgender girls would be barred from girl sports in kindergarten through 12th grade and in women’s collegiate sports.

“This is not a problem. This is one of those things where legislation is really being brought forward to address a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s a waste of our time. It’s actually harmful to the transgender youth community who are already marginalized and frequently attacked,’ said Rep. Lee Snodgrass, a Democrat from Appleton.

Snodgrass is also the chair of the Wisconsin LGBTQ caucus.

According to the CDC, less than two percent of students, nationwide, identify as transgender, and it’s unclear how many play sports.

The bill is expected to be assigned to a committee by next week.

However, Governor Evers is expected to veto the bill, if it lands on his desk.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.