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Missouri House committee may vote this week on transgender athlete bill

Student athletes would have to participate in sports based on their biological sex under a proposed transgender bill in the Missouri House. The General Laws Committee could vote on the bill this week. If passed by the full legislature, it would go to Missouri voters as a constitutional amendment.

“Some of the female athletes who are stars in their own right were knocked out of competition or the ability to proceed on, then ultimately scholarships, based on some males being allowed to compete against them,” said Rep. Robert Ross, R-Yukon, who sponsored the bill.

READ: Transgender athletes destroying girls sports say athletes

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, cited a Connecticut lawsuit arguing that trans athletes have deprived heterosexual females of titles and scholarships. “The young cisgender woman who was suing based on a transgender youth that she was competing against actually beat that transgender youth in track just not long ago,” he said.

Rep Tracy McCreery, D- Olivette, said playing sports teaches kids cooperation, team spirit and can keep them out of trouble.

“I feel like maybe I’ve done some harm to the guys’ cross-country team from the mid-1980s, because I beat every single one of them in cross country,” she said. “And so I feel really bad about that now. I didn’t realize that — wow, I didn’t realize that.”

Alissa Johnson of Concerned Women For America spoke in favor of the proposed ballot measure. “This isn’t about whether or not people are compassionate,” she said. “I believe this is like Rep. Ross said – this is an issue of fairness in sports.”

Rep. Brandon Boulware of Kansas City said the resolution would squash his 10-year-old transgender daughter’s spirit.

“All those kids who I feared would tease her — they have embraced her,” he said. “This is a nonissue for them. This is an issue for adults. It’s not an issue for kids. It will mean my daughter cannot play on her girls volleyball team anymore. It will mean my daughter will not have the opportunity that all of us had – to play on a team, to belong to something bigger, greater than ourselves.”

The Missouri Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on Tuesday about a similar transgender measure, SJR 50, sponsored by Shelbina Republican Cindy O’Laughlin.