Louisiana bans biological men in women’s sports

Athletics, sports, running,
Athletes compete in the 5,000 meter final during the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field on April 23, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. |

Louisiana has become the latest state to pass legislation preventing biological boys from competing in women’s school athletic competitions after the state’s Democratic governor did not veto or directly endorse the legislation.

The Women’s Sports Equity Act (SB 44) became law after Governor John Bel Edwards did not veto or sign the legislation within 10 days of the bill being delivered by the Secretary of the Senate, as required by state law.

The Senate secretary sent the bill to Edwards on May 25, just days after the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives approved the legislation.

On May 23, the Senate voted 32-6 to pass the bill, with nearly half of Senate Democrats joining all Republicans in supporting the measure. Six days earlier, the House of Representatives had voted 72 to 21 in favor of the bill, with a small number of Democrats joining fellow Republicans in voting in favor of the bill.

The bill requires public schools, some private elementary and secondary schools, and colleges that receive state funding to nominate sports teams by biological sex. The law defines “biological sex” as “a statement of a student’s biological sex on the student’s official birth certificate that is entered at or near the time of the student’s birth.” Additionally, the law allows girls to take legal action if a violation of the law makes them feel like they are “deprived of a sporting opportunity.”

“Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, 20 USC §1681 et seq., was designed to ensure that women are free from discrimination on the basis of sex in education and athletics so that women have the opportunity to compete for athletic scholarships and potentially launch their own athletic careers after completing their education,” the bill states.

The bill justifies banning trans-identified men from women’s sports by citing “inherent differences between men and women” that give biological men an unfair advantage over their biological female counterparts in athletics. The document states that men generally have “denser and stronger bones, tendons and ligaments, a larger heart, greater lung volume per body mass, higher red blood cell count and higher hemoglobin as well than natural higher testosterone levels.”

These characteristics affect “traits such as hemoglobin levels, body fat content, carbohydrate storage and utilization, and type II muscle fiber development, all of which allow men to generate speed and power. higher during physical activity.

After mentioning that “strength, speed and endurance” are “generally more present in biological males than in biological females”, Bill points out that “scientific studies have established that the benefits that natural testosterone provides male athletes are not diminished by the use of testosterone suppression.” A study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that even after a year of taking feminizing hormones, biological male athletes retain an edge over their female counterparts.

Meridian Baldacci, spokesperson for Family Policy Alliance, the lobbying arm of Christian organization Focus on the Family, called the bill’s passage a “milestone in the movement to save girls’ sports” in a statement. Monday at the Christian Post.

“In protecting female athletes, Louisiana joins Idaho (the first state to protect women’s sports), as well as Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Alabama, Tennessee, South Dakota, Virginia -Western, Texas, Florida, Iowa, Utah, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina and Indiana Many of these states, including Louisiana, extend protections to female athletes who have reached even higher levels of competition at the college level,” Baldacci explained.

Baldacci attributed the result to the Louisiana Family Forum, an organization that promotes family-centered public policy issues.

In an interview with CP, LFF chairman Gene Mills revealed his group had done grassroots work to protect women’s sport, including last year when the governor vetoed the bill. .

Mills and his team at LFF communicate with nearly 500 churches in Louisiana, and they have kept congregations informed of the content of SB 44 and what it accomplishes. They also sent bi-weekly communications and rallied people to make their voices heard during the legislative process through their 60th Brigade Action Alerts.

“The idea of ​​biological men competing with women instinctively goes against Louisiana values, so it hasn’t been hard to muster bipartisan support from Democrats, Independents, African Americans and communities. Spanish at all levels,” Mills told CP.

“Sexual politics have no place in sport, and this measure was a modest proposal to protect women’s sport from exploitation by biological boys,” he continued.

Edwards spoke out against the bill at a news conference on Monday, saying he did not veto the bill this time around because he believed lawmakers would just override it. .

“Whether intended or not, the effect is to say… send a strong message to at least some of these young people that they shouldn’t be who they think they are, who they think they are, who they know they are,” he said. “And I find that very distressing. I believe we can be better than that.”

The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organizations, urged the governor to veto SB 44 after it passed through the state House of Representatives in a statement last month. The group criticized the legislation as “a discriminatory attack” that “further isolates students who are already struggling to experience a normal childhood”.

In a statement last year after vetoing the bill, Edwards said “discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana”.

The issue of men’s trans identification competing in women’s sports captured national attention this year as Lia Thomas, who competed for three years on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team, beat women’s swimming records competing for the women’s team.

A swimmer who spoke anonymously with sports website OutKick for fear of retaliation claimed that “[p]Almost everyone told our coaches individually that they didn’t like it.”

“I think secretly everyone knows that’s the wrong thing to do,” she added. “When the whole team is together, we have to be like, ‘Oh my God, go ahead, Lia, this is awesome, you’re amazing.’ This is very wrong.”

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