Louisiana bill bans transgender girls from playing girls sports at school

Louisiana News

A proposed ban on transgender athletes playing female school sports in Utah would affect transgender girls like this 12-year-old swimmer. She and her family spoke with The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to avoid outing her publicly. She cried when she heard about the proposal that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools, which would separate her from her friends. She’s far from the tallest girl on her team, and has worked hard to improve her times but is not a dominant swimmer in her age group, her coach said. “Other than body parts I’ve been a girl my whole life,” she said. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Baton Rouge, La. — A bill in the state legislature that would prohibit transgender girls from playing on female sports teams at school, has passed.

The vote at the Senate Education Committee was unanimous.

The bill was written by Louisiana Senator Beth Mizell, a Republican from Franklinton, who says the bill “protects female athletes.”

Mizell’s bill was supported by the wife of Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson, Sheila Thompson Johnson, who’s a former women’s basketball coach.

“I believe in protecting women,” said Johnson, “and preserving the unique opportunities set aside for them in the law.”

Arguing against the bill, former state legislator Melissa Flournoy said the legislature should “understand the national business climate” — reminding them that the NCAA will not host championship games in states that pass laws that discriminate against transgender athletes.

New Orleans is scheduled to host the NCAA Final Four basketball championship next year.

The bill now goes to the full state senate for a vote but Governor Edwards has indicated that he will veto any anti-transgender legislation that reaches his desk.

Reporting by Ryan Nelsen, LSU Manship School News Service.

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