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NEWS

Lawmakers in North Dakota Propose a Bill which Restricts Transgender Athletes

Lawmakers in North Dakota have proposed a bill that will restrict high school and college athletes from participating in sports under any gender other than the one on their birth certificate. This bill will restrict transgender athletes from participating in any sports under the gender they identify with. Republican State representative Ben Koppelman introduced House Bill 1298 on January 11, 2021. Those who support this bill believe this bill will ensure fairness because it will place restrictions based on gender.

House Bill 1298 restricts transgender athletes in North Dakota

This bill will prevent transgender students from participating in any sports under the gender they identify with. A transgender athlete who identifies as male or female won’t be able to play a sport in the gender they identify with under this bill. HB 1298 states,” The state, a political subdivision of the state, or an entity that receives public funding from the state or from a political subdivision of the state may not: Allow an individual who was assigned the opposite sex at birth to participate on an athletic team sponsored or funded by the state, political subdivision, or entity and which is exclusively for females or exclusively for males.”

Reactions

This bill has mixed reactions from public. Rob Port who is founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, a North Dakota political blog wrote a blog about his reaction to this bill. In his blog titled The transgender sports issue is a debate North Dakota needs on inforum.com, Port said,”Gender is now considered a fluid thing by many. That means a person with all the typical physical advantages of being male could identify as female and compete with a significant advantage.”

Port supports Koppelman’s bill because he believes it will be fair for girls who play sports. Some people have testified against this at a hearing. Currently, this bill hasn’t gained much traction in the North Dakota legislature since introduced. There is no telling if this bill will ever become law.

Transgender athletes have always faced issues in sports. This bill will restrict them from participating in sports which gender they identify with, but it is unlikely to pass because LGBTQ discrimination is becoming unpopular.

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Inesh Chari
Living in Watchung, New Jersey and a senior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Communication Studies.

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