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WI Assembly passes bill banning transgender athletes in high school, collegiate sports

The legislation would forbid an athlete, who is biologically born male, from participating in girls or women’s sports.
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 2:04 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly voted to pass two proposals banning transgender athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s sports.

The proposals were introduced to the floor on Wednesday. One focused on sports at the collegiate level and the other addressed high school sports. It would forbid an athlete, who is biologically born male, from participating in girls or women’s sports.

Co-author of the bill, Republican Representative Barbara Dittrich, says legislation would designate sports with male, female, and co-ed sports categories.

“These bills seek to protect those women and create space that’s inclusive for all,” said Rep. Dittrich.

She also adds the goal is not to discriminate against transgender athletes.

“Women in Wisconsin have suffered material damage from having their spot taken on the podium from biological males competing in their sport,” said Vos.

Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos says the proposal is a good thing for female competitors.

“Women have the right to competitive sports where they have a decent shot to win, as opposed to being uncompetitive because a biological man made the decision to compete in a woman’s sport,” said Rep. Vos.

The Wisconsin LGBTQ Caucus spoke out against the legislation Wednesday morning and called the proposals “unnecessary and cruel”.

Brian Juchems, a co-executive director for GSAFE, a LGBTQ youth organization, says politicians are playing games with young people.

“These games do nothing to advance joy, safety, and prosperity for anyone. Instead, they only cause harm,” said Juchems.

He went on to the legislation could affect youth struggling with mental health issues and their own sexual and gender identity.

“Some members of our legislature are dedicated to villainizing our youth, playing games with their mental health, and physical well-being,” added Juchems.

Most Assembly Democrats voiced their frustration that this legislation, likely to face a veto from Governor Evers, was up for debate.

“Kids that are already faced with a tough enough challenge,” said Assembly Minority Leader Rep. Gordon Hintz. I think we feel awful for kids and parents around the state of Wisconsin that these are even being introduced and actually making it to the floor.”

The proposals must also pass the Senate before going to Evers. He has repeatedly said he stands with transgender students and plans to veto these bills.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.