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Wisconsin lawmakers advance proposal to ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports

The move comes following the first public hearings on the issue.
Published: May. 26, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) — The Republican controlled legislature is advancing a set of proposals aiming to keep transgender athletes off of girls’ and women’s sports teams in Wisconsin.

The bills are focused on creating bans that would apply to K-12 students and college level athletes. The first public hearings held at the State Capitol Wednesday brought dozens of people who came to speak to three committees.

Those in favor of the bills argue transgender people should plan on co-ed teams or not at all. Several female athletes spoke at the hearing concerned about the fairness.

“Male and female bodies are made differently and sometimes there’s no amount of training that can make a female as fast as a male,” said Sherry Mix, a Verona resident and parent of student athletes.

Mix is also a competitive cyclist and says she has competed with a transgender woman in the past.

“It’s very defeating for biological females to be beaten by biological males when they should be protected in their sport,” said Mix.

More than 30 groups are in opposition of the proposals and call them anti-trans legislation, similar to measures being proposed in other states right now.

If the bills are passed, it’s likely Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will veto them. The push to protect transgender youth is strong.

Co-executive director of GSAFE, Brian Juchems spoke during the hearing on behalf of the families that couldn’t speak for themselves.

“I heard from so many parents of trans and non-binary youth as well as youth themselves saying they wish they could be here but by being here it would out them and make them less safe in their schools,” said Juchems.

Opponents fear passing the bills would do more harm than good for transgender youth who are already vulnerable.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) is one of the groups in opposition.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.