Louisiana Senate Passes Transgender Athletes Bill, Governor Deems It ‘Unnecessary’

The Louisiana Senate this week approved a bill to protect women’s sports, requiring individuals to compete against others of their biological sex.

Senate Bill 44, dubbed the “Women’s Sports Equity Act,” “specifically requires that a sports team or sporting event sponsored by an elementary, secondary or post-secondary educational institution be designated as a of the biological sex of the members of the team”, either as an all-male team, an all-female team or a “mixed or mixed team”.

“Sports teams or sporting events designated for women, girls or women shall not be open to students who are not biologically female,” the bill states.

In addition, the proposal provides protections for schools, school boards, school coaches, school employees, school board members, post-secondary education management boards and post-secondary education board members. that prevent a biological man claiming to be a woman from participating in women’s sports.

“Biological women have placed second and third in tournaments that have always been a women’s sport. We have learned that the winning teams of women’s Olympic finalists could not even meet the qualifying times for high school boys’ sports, ”Senator Beth Mizell (R), sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.

Governor John Bel Edwards (D), however, called the bill “unnecessary” and “petty”.

“I hope it doesn’t reach my desk,” he said of the legislation last month. “It’s kind of sad because it’s theoretically an injustice bill, but…that injustice, it’s not happening in Louisiana.”

“But what’s happening is we have young people who have quite severe mental illness in some cases, or I should say emotional issues and it seems like it’s piling up, for me,” he said. he adds.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also lashed out, calling the legislation a “direct attack on transgender youth”.

“This unfair separation not only deprives LGBTQ+ children from participating in athletics, but further isolates them from their peers,” the organization said, seemingly ignoring the concerns of biological women, some of whom have been displaced by male athletes. .

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas smiles after winning the women’s 100 meter freestyle during the 2022 Ivy League Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Blodgett Pool on February 19, 2022 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Several other states have already adopted similar measures to protect women, including Florida, Mississippi and Texas. Other state legislatures, including those in Kansas, Utah and Indiana, have tried to pass similar measures but have faced roadblocks from their respective governors.


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