BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Legislature is once again taking on the national debate on if transgender girls should be allowed on girls’ sports teams. The bill that was shut down last year is up for debate before lawmakers.
Without objection, Sen. Beth Mizell’s bill that would prohibit transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams has made it out of committee and is once again going to be debated throughout the legislature.
The bill is a national talking point with the belief that transgender girls competing in women’s sports could be unfair due to potential biological advantages. Recent sporting events have made national headlines after transgender athletes beat out cis-gendered competitors. Sen. Mizell, a Franklinton Republican, has been pushing the bill for years and said it is in the name of fairness.
“Somebody has got to say the rights of these women who have struggled to get to where they are has got to be at least acknowledged,” Sen. Mizell said.
There are no examples of the issue in the state. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association already has strict rules in place that a student must compete on a team according to their birth sex unless they have undergone gender reassignment.
“Trans women are women,” said Sarah Jane Guidry, executive director of Forum for Equality. “One of the issues we are getting into debate is treating seventh graders like collegiate athletes. This bill is very expansive and it does not treat individual athletes in ways in which their sport is regulated.”
Advocates continue to push back on the bill, saying it is discriminatory and alienating to vulnerable children.
It is not clear how it will play out in both the House and the Senate. The bill did pass in the 2021 regular legislative session but could not get enough votes to override the governor’s veto. It is also not clear how Governor John Bel Edwards will react to it if it does make it to his desk again.