Wisconsin, Minnesota Legislatures Debating Transgender Ban From Female Sports

By Adam Roberts – 3/3/2021

Bills working their way through state government in both Wisconsin and Minnesota would prevent transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.

Wisconsin State Representative Barb Dittrich authored the Badger state bill which was introduced yesterday. It would ban transgender athletes from female sports from kindergarten through college. Dittrich and supporters of the measure have cited an unfair physical advantage they say transgender athletes would have over biological females.

Meanwhile, Minnesota State Representative Eric Lucero introduced H.R. 1657 last week which aims to ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports. Under the proposed legislation, transgender students who identify as women would be banned from trying out for or participating in female-only school sports. Doing so, would be considered a petty misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of three-hundred dollars. Additionally, the bill would also prohibit a transgender student from using communal areas such as restrooms, locker rooms and shower rooms that are designated female. Opponents of both bills Opponents say such proposals violate not only Title IX of federal education law prohibiting sex discrimination, but also rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. They also argue that such bans will further marginalize vulnerable students and hurt the state’s economy by making it more difficult to recruit both athletes and businesses.

In both cases, officials say the proposed legislation likely won’t become law as Governors Tim Walz and Tony Evers would likely veto any such bill. However, the news comes as multiple states are considering legislation restricting transgender youth participating in athletics.