Senate passes bill prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in girls’ school sports

Senate passes bill prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in girls’ school sports

The Senate recently passed legislation that would ban transgender athletes from playing girls sports, sending the bill to Governor Tony Evers, who is expected to veto it. This move was heavily criticized by Democratic Senator Mark Spreitzer, a member of the Wisconsin Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus, who accused Republicans of targeting transgender individuals with such legislation.

Senator Spreitzer expressed disappointment at the continued attack on LGBTQ youth in Wisconsin and questioned why Governor Evers keeps having to veto bills like this one. The bill passed with a vote of 21-11 and was opposed by Senator Joan Ballweg, a Republican from Markesan. Ballweg cited concerns about the mental health impacts on transgender youth, as they are at a higher risk for depression, suicide, and victimization.

The legislation, known as AB 377, requires schools to designate sports teams as male, female, or co-ed, and would prevent individuals identified as male on their birth certificates from playing on female-designated teams. This bill was previously passed by the Assembly along party lines in October and is now in front of Governor Evers.

In addition to the ban on transgender athletes in girls sports, the Assembly also approved a similar bill to apply the ban to collegiate level sports. However, the Senate did not take up this bill for consideration. The ongoing debate over transgender participation in sports has sparked controversy and divided opinions among legislators.

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