Lawmakers will soon consider a bill that would prevent transgender athletes from playing on sports teams opposite their biological sex.
House Bill 1298 would specifically apply to publicly funded athletic teams, like high school sports. If the bill passes, North Dakota would join Texas, Alabama, North Carolina and Kentucky with similar laws requiring athletes play on a team aligned with their biological sex.
North Dakota’s Human Rights Coalition Legislative Coordinator Brandi Hardy says she thinks the bill would exclude young people from the benefits of playing sports.
“Sports are those opportunities where kids are able to learn the meaning of teamwork and selflessness and discipline, and when we’re taking those opportunities away from a certain group or population of students, then we are then encouraging them not to participate, but we’re also telling them that they’re not worthy to be participating in other opportunities where life lessons are learned,” Hardy said.
A North Dakota High School Activities Association statute currently lets transgender students taking hormones to compete under their gender they identify with in some cases.