Wisconsin legislature hold hearings to ban transgender athletes in public schools, Univ. of Wisconsin system

Thu. May 27, 2021 6:34 AM by Gerald Farinas

Wisconsin Republican legislators have vowed to stop transgender youth from participating in state elementary, middle, high school, and even the University of Wisconsin system, with fellow athletes of their gender identity.

Hearings began Wednesday in Madison, Wis. for two bills that would do just that.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, a former state schools superintendent, has said that these bills will hurt children—and vows to veto them.

Republican state Rep. Barb Dittrich authored one of the bills—arguing that it will “even the playing field.”

She even dared to argue that banning transgender student athletes from competing in their gender identity helps to preserve the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act—popularly known as Title IX. It is the federal law that prohibits discrimination in school programs based on sex.

Ironically, before her death, U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink (D-HI) was an avowed progressive and supporter of the LGBT community.

“Biological females are losing opportunities at titles, records, scholarships and even participation at times,” Dittrich said in March when the bills were introduced.

Also in March, Olympian Bonnie Blair Cruickshank appeared in a video to promote the discriminatory legislation.

“Athletes should not have to compete in an unfair environment and women's sports should be protected,” the speedskater said.

Chris Ott, executive director of Wisconsin ACLU said ahead of these hearings, “Transgender students participate in sports for the same reasons that other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve their fitness, and be part of a team. Excluding trans students from participating in sports teams consistent with their authentic gender identity is unfair and discriminatory.”

He continued, “The intent of these bills is not to protect students in sports, but to alienate trans students and discriminate against them based on their identity.”