State senators listen to 2 hours of testimony on transgender student-athlete bill

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State senators sat through two hours of testimony regarding a bill that would ban transgender student-athletes.

Some who argued in favor of the bill say there is a biological unfairness of girls competing against transgender students who identify as female.

The committee heard from representatives, women and local organizations.

“What would be the purpose to wait until a female student loses her opportunity to participate on an all-girl sports team, or loses the opportunity to receive a scholarship because of a biological male who claims transgender status as a woman receives her spot?” said Linda Thorson, the Concerned Women for America of North Dakota State Director.

“So for consistency throughout the state, it needs to be the legislature that defines this policy. Let’s be clear, House Bill 1298 does not prohibit any students from participating in sports,” explained Rep. Ben Koppelman, from West Fargo.

Some also spoke in opposition, discussing the long-term damage a ban on transgender student-athletes would have not only on the students themselves but the community as a whole.

And that there is currently not a transgender athlete on record in the state.

“Saying that trans girls, even after hormone therapy are automatically going to win any event in any sport because they were assigned male at birth portrays CIS girls as inherently weak and feeble. And it portrays trans girls as inherently predatory,” said Olivia Data, the Student Advocates of North Dakota (SAND) Vice Chairman.

“It helps them build positive social connections in leadership skills and succeed in school as a whole,” Mary Jo Dunne, a North Dakota student.

“And to the best of my knowledge was written without any input from the transgender community or any consideration of its impact on the emotional or mental health of transgender youth,” said Nick Archuleta, the President for ND United.

House Bill 1298 has already passed the House.

The Senate Judiciary Committee took no action on the bill on Tuesday.

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