The Interscholastic Sports bill heads toward the Governor’s desk

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 3:57 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As the 67th Legislative session closes, lawmakers move the latest bills to the Governor’s desk.

The Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Sports bill moved toward the Governor’s desk for signing on Friday.

This bill prohibits biologically male students from competing on a team designated for female students.

Trans-athletes and advocates have been fighting this bill for being discriminatory.

Former athlete, coach and current Senator Wendy Davis Schuler says female athletes have fought for 50 years for the right to compete under Title 9.

”I think we’ve gone full circle. I was in the pre-Title 9 era where I didnt get to compete then I went to high school and we finally go some real sports. (In) College I competed in the University of Wyoming then became a coach for many many years. So I’m a big champion of biological girls and women to be able to have a level playing field,” said Schuler.

Lawmakers say this bill is needed because trans-biological male students are starting to take sports scholarships and podium spots from female athletes.

Trans advocates say separating female-identifying athletes from a sense of belonging is harmful and unfair.

”We know that anti trans bill are completely unneccessary, and we knwo that only thin g they do is really impact youth who are already a t ahigher rate of suicide and who already experiance a high rate of depression and marginalization in society so what we need to be doing is looking at ways we can support them instead of attackign them through passing theng that ban them from gettign the medical carethey need or playig sports consistent with their gender,” said John Gruber, Deputy National Campaign Director, Human Rights Campaign.

The bill has a $1.1M appropriation this is to pay for any litigation against the bill

”Around the country these kinds of legislation are headed to the supreme court and that means weve got to decide do wyoming tax payers want to foot the bill for this to the tuneo f many millions of dollars or do we wat o do what we do best which is let kids play,” said Sara Burlingame, Executive Director, Wyoming Equality.