North Dakota is one of at least thirty states that are trying to push through legislation to ban trans women and girls from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.
Following the example of anti-trans legislators across the country, the proponents of North Dakota’s bill, House Bill 1298, have relied on falsehoods and fearmongering to make the case for their bill.
In a 4/2/21 letter sent to HRC President Alphonso David, NCAA President Mark Emmert wrote:
“The NCAA Board of Governors policy requires championship host sites to demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination. The board policy also requires that safeguards are in place to ensure the dignity of everyone involved in the event.”
On April 5th 2021, the NCAA LGBTQ OneTeam, a group of NCAA-trained facilitators at colleges across the country published an open letter condemning anti-transgender legislation.
“We call on elected officials across the country to immediately halt legislation that is aimed at excluding transgender youth and young adults from equal and equitable participation in sport.”
Anti-trans sports bills are discriminatory, and discriminatory bills cause states to lose business.
In 2020, Idaho was the first and only state to sign an anti-trans sports bill into law. The law was swiftly enjoined in federal district court and is still in the early stages of litigation (the injunction has been appealed) almost a year later.
Taxpayers will bear the costs of this litigation, including the work of the Attorney General as well as any settlement costs. A case in which a Michigan school district discriminated against a transgender student was recently settled for $300,000 - not including attorney’s fees. A similar case out of Wisconsin was settled a few years ago for $800,000.
Transgender people do not have an inherent competitive advantage in sports. Nobody goes through the long and arduous process of transitioning in order to gain any sort of advantage. Trans women and girls just want to live authentic lives, be part of a team and play with their friends, like anyone else.
In fact, these type of bills are harmful to all young people -- cisgender and transgender alike. Many bills like HB1298 ask all girls to prove their genetic womanhood. Many bills that have been heard across the country go above and beyond to be invasive. Some ask for birth certificates from all players and others even go so far as to force kids to turn in doctor’s notes with proof of their genitalia.