Missouri lawmakers are considering a proposal that would ban transgender high school students from competing on teams that don’t match their “gender at birth.” The bill was introduced by State Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, R-Shelby County, who said that “transgender athletes have an unfair advantage over those who are naturally born male or female,” as reported by KY3.
“It is a known biological fact that males are born with categorically superior strength, speed, and endurance,” O’Laughlin said. “It has nothing to do with any other issue than trying to create a fair playing field.”
The current Missouri law states that transgender athletes who want to play on teams that do not match their assigned gender at birth must apply to the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA). They must submit medical records and other relevant documents, and transgender women must show proof that they have been on testosterone blockers for a year and must remain on them.
Those who oppose to O’Laughlin’s proposal argued that Missouri’s current laws already provide a fair vetting process.
Missouri bill would restrict transgender athletes to play on sports teams matching gender assigned at birth https://t.co/tQGQOEIvU8
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“They have provided fair and inclusive parameters for inclusion in sports,” Jennifer Mock, a mom of transgender athlete, said. “These parameters allow my son to play the game [of hockey] he’s always wanted to play with his childhood peers.”
According to Dr. Tom Jackson, a licensed chiropractor in Missouri, “I can tell you as someone who does train and treat transgender athletes on a daily basis, even professional ones, that they have no distinct advantage in competition.”
A transgender athlete who was born a girl but identifies as a boy said: “Putting me on the girls activities won’t make me a girl. This bill will force me on the girls teams where I end up beating every single girl on my high school cross country team in every race, and I’d have placed 28th in the state as a freshman.”
KY3 reported that there is “a similar bill in the Missouri House that would also restrict transgender athletes, and bar girls from playing high school football.”
“Neither the House or Senate versions have been voted out of committee. If either is approved by the General Assembly, it will be put to a vote of the people,” the report said.