JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - A Missouri bill to have some transgender students play sports on teams that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates was debated in a House committee hearing.
The bill calls for a statewide ballot initiative to change the Missouri constitution. Transgender athletes who have dominated girl's and women's sports have become an issue for some.
"My thinking is that this is very harmful to, especially to young women, who are working very hard trying to excel in a sport and I think this would be detrimental to them," Basye says.
Transgender children, parents and transgender-rights advocates sometimes cried as they asked lawmakers not to advance the proposal.
Corey Hyman, a 15-year-old transgender boy from St. Charles, said “being socially accepted by your peers is just as important as getting your physical transition needs met”.
“If you saw me, someone with a mustache, on the girls team during a game, you’d probably be thrown off,” he told lawmakers.
The bill would allow biologically female students to choose to play in girl's or boy's sports programs, but biologically male students can only play in sports for boys or both sexes. The bill also says a transgender student who is "transitioning or has transitioned from male to female" may only participate sports for males or both sexes "regardless of hormone-therapy use."
If approved by the Republican-led Legislature, the proposed constitutional amendment would go before voters in 2022.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) allows transgender students to participate in either girl's or boy's sports, but biologically male students who are transitioning to become female must be on hormone medical treatment for a year before participating on a girls team.
Between 2017 and 2019, transgender sprinters Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, of Connecticut, combined to win 15 championship races. Their success prompted a lawsuit by four cisgender girls, meaning girls whose gender identity matches the gender they were identified as having at birth.
One of those girls, Chelsea Mitchell, defeated Terry Miller -- the faster of the two trans sprinters -- in their final two races in February 2020.
© 2020 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved