Louisiana bill to ban transgender girls from playing on female sports teams clears committee

Published: April 30, 2021

By: Ryan Nelsen, LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE — A bill that would ban transgender girls from playing on a female sports team passed without a single objection in the Senate Education Committee Thursday.

A recent influx of similar bills has appeared around the country and have received the label “anti-trans” by activists. The bill, written by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, will head to the Senate for a vote. Mizell said this bill “protects female athletes.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he opposes the bill and will seek to veto it along with other bills that impose restrictions on transgender people.

Melissa Flournoy, a former Louisiana legislator, testified in opposition to the bill, calling it “unnecessary” and warning that the NCAA has said it will not host championship games in states that pass laws that discriminate against transgender athletes.

More:Why the gender-affirming care debate for minors in Louisiana is a concern for the rest of the Gulf South

“I hope you understand the national business climate and how these anti-transgender bills affect our ability to keep the Sugar Bowl,” said Flournoy. She pointed out that New Orleans is scheduled to host the NCAA Final Four in 2022.

A bill by Sen. Beth Mizell would ban transgender girls from playing on female sports teams.
A bill by Sen. Beth Mizell would ban transgender girls from playing on sports teams. Photo courtesy of Sen. Beth Mizell

Eddie Bonine, the executive director of Louisiana High School Athletic Association, said there has not been an occurrence of a transgender student wanting to play sports. He supported the bill as he sees it solidifying LHSAA’s current policy.

Dylan Waguespack of True Colors Unite, a youth homeless outreach program that focuses on the LGBTQ community, said LHSAA policies have already eliminated the chance for transgender students to play sports.

The LHSAA policy states that a transgender student can play sports if the surgical and anatomical changes have been completed.

“A minor would never receive those procedures,” said Waguespack.

No law in Louisiana prohibits gender reassignment surgery for minors, but guidelines posted by the Endocrine Society state that the operation should not take place until the individual is 18.

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