ACTION ALERT: Girls’ and women’s sports are stronger when we prioritize equity and inclusion.
SF 96 is an unconstitutional, harmful bill – being pushed by anti-LGTBQ hate groups – that goes in search of a problem that does not exist, targets and dehumanizes children, and distracts us from the actual threats to girl’s and women’s sports.
On Wednesday, February 3rd the Minnesota Senate Education Committee is holding a hearing on SF 96 – a harmful, wrong, and unconstitutional bill promoting sex stereotypes and transphobia.
Additionally, SF 96 is so poorly written that its intent can seem unclear – until you see the written testimony in support and the anti-transgender, anti-LGBTQ hate groups that submitted it. They are very clear on what they expect this bill to do.
And we need to talk about it.
Right-wing hate groups have identified the transgender community as the next place to perpetuate their anti-LGBTQ hate campaign. They realize they can’t say outright, “Hey, we want to discriminate against and dehumanize trans people,” so they’re going with the offensive and paternalistic guise of “saving women’s sports.”
The fact is, there are very real threats to girls’ and women’s sports – racism, pay inequities, sexual abuse, and lack of athletic opportunities in schools, to name a few – but trans athletes competing is not one. If the Senate Education Committee is interested in supporting girls’ and women’s sports, they should focus their energy on addressing systemic racism and sexism, fully funding public schools, and passing comprehensive sex and consent education. Girls’ and women’s sports are stronger when we prioritize equity and inclusion.
Let’s be clear: when trans girls are playing girl’s sports, girls are playing sports. When trans women are playing women’s sports, women are playing sports. Misgendering trans girls and women is offensive and wrong, but sadly a key element of the right-wing hate group’s strategy.
We have been here before: there is a painful history of discrimination in sports, whether it’s junk science used to justify excluding women from sports; racism used to exclude Black athletes, or anti-Semitic tropes used to demonize Jewish athletes and assert they had an unfair advantage in sports. The kind of gatekeeping we’re seeing now, and the effort to exclude trans athletes, is just a continuation of the same discrimination that existed in the past.
We have to speak up against these attacks on trans children. That’s why I’m asking you, today – NOW – to contact your state legislators and tell them to stand with the youth in our schools and not support SF 96. It is harmful, unconstitutional, and wrong.