In A Flash

Transgender athlete ban from women’s sports moves closer to final passage

By: - May 4, 2022 4:44 pm
Beth Mizell

Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, presents her bill to ban transgender athletes from women’s and girls’ sports to the Senate Education Committee Thursday, April 7, 2022. (Greg LaRose | Louisiana Illuminator)

Another attempt to ban transgender athletes from competing in girls’ high school and women’s college sports in Louisiana advanced Wednesday in the Legislature.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, authored by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, was approved in a 7-1 vote by the House Education Committee. Rep. Aimee Freeman, D-New Orleans, was the sole opponent. Six Republicans and one Democrat, Rep. Patrick Jefferson, supported the bill. Four committee members – Reps. Ken Brass, Barbara Freiberg, Stephanie Hilferty and Tammy Phelps — were absent for the vote.  

Gov. John Bel Edwards rejected a similar proposal last year, and a veto override effort from Republicans in the Legislature fell short of the needed votes.

“Since then… we’ve had biological females become second- and third-place winners of a tournament that’s always been geared for biological females. We’ve seen studies that show Olympic women file a time that wouldn’t qualify for high school boy’s times.”

Freeman questioned how the author planned to have schools enforce the ban on transgender athletes from women’s sports. According to the bill, high school athletes would be required to play in the sports league “of the biological sex on the official birth certificate.” Freeman asked  if that meant student athletes would have to provide their birth certificate to compete.

Mizell responded by saying student athletes are already required to provide their birth certificate to verify their age.

The bill moves to the full House, after which it would move to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk if passed.

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is an award-winning journalist at The Louisiana Illuminator. Canicosa has previous experience at Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.