Democrats call bill protecting girls’ sports ‘dehumanizing’

The bill would make a male student who plays on a female team guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

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Biological male students who participate in girls’ sports could face criminal charges, according to a bill that was introduced in the Minnesota House last week.

Democratic senators are not happy about the development, calling the bill “unconstitutional” and “dehumanizing” in a press release.

“We are seeing yet again another harmful, unconstitutional bill that targets and dehumanizes children,” Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said. “The Minnesota state constitution is a guarantee of everyone’s rights and full equality, and transphobic policies have no place in our schools, as was recently found by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.”

The bill, House File 1657, would make a male student who plays on a female team guilty of a petty misdemeanor. The bill language clarifies the definition of “male” as “a person with a
heterogametic sex chromosome pair consisting of one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.”

The bill would also restrict transgender females (biological males) from using women’s restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and any “setting where a student may be in a state of undress.”

Rep. Athena Hollins, DFL-St. Paul, said the bill exists to “demonize” transgender youth.

“The real purpose of this legislation is to instill fear in our community and promote transphobia,” Hollins claimed, according to a press release. “Liberation starts with tearing through every barrier, every wall, and every discriminatory policy that criminalizes the rights of trans and gender-nonconforming people.”

Rep. Heather Keeler, DFL-Moorhead, declared that this bill uses sports to establish a “transphobic atmosphere,” which is not “the message our youth need or deserve.”

Dibble also claimed the bill encourages transphobia and takes away from “the very real threats to female sports,” like racism and pay inequities.

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate in January, but no further action has been taken since then.