Story at a glance

  • The new bill would ban male students from competing with female students in sports with both male and female teams.
  • Male students would be defined by their assigned sex at birth and would not be able to participate in accordance with their gender identity.
  • The rule would apply to all athletic activities that fall under the purview of the school board.

Washington is considering a bill that would no longer allow students to participate in sports according to their gender identity if it differs from the sex assigned to them at birth. 

The bill, proposed by Republican Rep. Brad Klippert on Dec. 4, would "prohibit male students from competing with and against female students in athletic activities with separate classifications for male and female students,” with male students defined by their sex assigned at birth. 

Currently, according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, all students are allowed to participate in sports according to their gender identity, "irrespective of the gender listed on a student's records.

“I'm running this in support of female athletes, so they can compete against each other and not have to compete against male athletes who have different hormones flowing through their veins, which gives them much more muscle capacity,” Rep. Klippert told KEPR.

Carly Coburn, the president of the branch in Washington's Benton and Franklin Counties, said in a statement on Facebook that the bill discriminates against LGBTQ students especially. 

“To date there has been absolutely no evidence that transgender or nonbinary athletes pose any serious danger to any sport in which they participate. This bill is at its core an attempt to invalidate transgender and gender non-binary identity. We stand in firm opposition to this bill, and any other proposed law of this type,” Coburn said.

The bill will be considered by the Washington state legislature when they are back in session on Jan. 14, 2020. 

Published on Dec 12, 2019