Governor Gordon Allows Bill Prohibiting Male-Born Students in Female Sports to Become Law
Governor Gordon announced on Friday that, while he won't sign a bill that prohibits male-born student athletes from competing in female sports, he will allow it to pass into law.
That's according to a news release from the Governor's office, which states while The Governor "supports and agrees with the overall goal of fairness in competitive sports, the ban included in the legislation is 'overly draconian, is discriminatory without attention to individual circumstances or mitigating factors, and pays little attention to fundamental principles of equality.'"
Despite his apparent stance on the subject, Governor Gordon will allow the bill, Senate File 133/SEA No. 92 - Student eligibility in interscholastic sports, to pass into law.
Governor Gordon stated that he agrees with the provision of the bill that moves decision-making to the state level as a way to ensure both consistency and fairness across school districts, the release stated.
“While I freely acknowledge the intent of this legislation is well-meaning as a way to protect the integrity and fairness of women’s sports in our state, by enacting an outright ban on transgender individuals participating in sports teams, I believe Wyoming sends a harmful message that these individuals and their families do not deserve the same opportunities as others,” Governor Gordon wrote. “Moreover the ban leaves little or no flexibility for families to support their children. As a parent, that saddens me."
The Bill, defined as an act relating to education, prohibits "students of the male sex from competing on a team designated for students of the female sex as specified."
This law will go into effect on July 1, which means that no current student athletes are impacted during the school year.
"The Governor committed to work with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction prior to the start of the next school year to ensure that there is clear guidance from the Wyoming High School Activities Association regarding the opportunities that will exist moving forward for transgender students to have some means to participate safely in interscholastic activities after this law goes into effect, recognizing sadly that may mean these young people may not be able to compete in athletics," the release stated.
The ACLU of Wyoming strongly opposed Senate File 133, stating that the legislation violates both the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act which, according to a release from ACLU, protects all students - including those who are transgendered - from discrimination based on sex.
“Nobody wins when politicians meddle in people’s lives like this. Nobody wins when we codify discrimination like this," said Antonio Serrano, the Advocacy Director of ACLU of Wyoming.
Serran stated that this bill has nothing to do with 'leveling the playing field for athletes.
"It’s about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life," he stated. "Inclusive teams that support all athletes and encourage participation should be the standard for all school sports."
Serrano continued, saying that “Allowing Senate File 133 to go into law is shameful and only reinforces the incorrect notion that transgender students are not entitled to the same dignity and respect as all students.”
The full bill can be viewed here.