Alaska bill would bar transgender girls from female sports

Alaska bill would bar transgender girls from female sports
The bill from Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes is the latest of its kind around the country that would bar transgender girls and women from girls and women s sports. Hughes, a Palmer Republican, in a statement Thursday said the bill is "the culmination of several months work" but indicated it would not be pushed during the final days of this session, scheduled to end next week.

"Currently, the Legislature is focusing efforts on pressing and time sensitive matters. That, and the fact that many committees have already begun ending their work this legislative session, means that my staff and I will be working over the interim on our plan to start the bill hearing process during the next legislative session," Hughes said. Bills pending in the current regular session carry over to next year.

Laura Carpenter, executive director of Identity, an Anchorage-based advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, said the bill is discriminatory and "horrific."

"This is not about fairness in women s sports," Carpenter said. "This is an anti-transgender bill that does not value trans lives."

The president of the conservative Alaska Family Council, Jim Minnery, urged support for the bill, calling it a way to ensure that "basic fairness and opportunities for women aren t sidelined by the demands of radical gender ideologues."

Hughes spoke about the issue on the Senate floor last month, when she proposed, but withdrew, an amendment to a pandemic emergency bill that dealt with transgender athletes.

She said she wanted to use that "bully pulpit" to draw attention to an issue that she said she has had "more communication on" this year than the annual check Alaskans receive from the state s oil-wealth fund, a perennial hot-button.

"Alaskans want Alaskans values, American values to be sustained," she said, noting later her plans to introduce a bill.

It states that a student who participates in a team or sport designated for females, women or girls "must be female, based on the participant s biological sex."

Michael Garvey, advocacy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, said his group opposes the bill. He said it raises privacy and other concerns and "singles out students who are transgender for discrimination."
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