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Transgender Sports Ban Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk

in News/Legislature

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By Clair McFarland, General Assignment Reporter

A Wyoming bill banning biological males from girls’ school sports now is one step away from becoming law, and now would apply to girls’ sports in public-school grades seven through 12.  

Senate File 133 received final approval from the state Senate Thursday after having passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate’s initial vote earlier in the session. It now must survive the governor’s desk to become law.  

The version the Senate approved would ban biological males – including transgender girls – from competing in girls’ public school sports from grades seven through 12.  

The House changed course on that topic twice, narrowing the ban from all grades to just high school on Monday, then settling on grades seven through 12 on Wednesday.  

‘Glad I Missed That’ 

Rep. David Northrup, R-Powell, argued during House floor debate Wednesday that the ban should only apply to high school girls’ sports. Northrup said girls mature quicker than boys in the middle school grades.  

“When I was in junior high I was a stick and needless to say any girl could’ve whooped my ass at that time,” said Northrup.  

Other House delegates gasped and said “oooh.”  

House Speaker Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, did not chastise Northrup for the expletive, saying “I’m glad I missed that.”  

Scholarships And Championships 

Rep. Landon Brown, R-Cheyenne, also argued that the ban should only apply to high school, saying high school is where championship and scholarship opportunities become vital.  

“(Females) are going to be bigger than males when they’re walking in at seventh, eighth grade,” said Brown.  

Rep. Jeremy Haroldson, R-Wheatland, disputed this point, saying he was at his current height at age 13.  

“You see me walk out against your daughter to pole vault, are you going to be OK with that?” asked Haroldson. He said the conversation shouldn’t focus on scholarships and championships alone, but also on girls’ morale and identity.  

Well-Rounded Human Beings 

Rep. Trey Sherwood, D-Laramie, said families should value the opportunity for students across genders to “play and have this experience, to make us more well-rounded human beings.” 

Sherwood said young athletes are still playing, whereas older athletes are competing.  

“Yes some of us are more competitive than others,” she said. “All of us should engage in more play to bring joy to our lives.”  

Rep. Martha Lawley, R-Worland, countered, saying it was a good idea to broaden the ban from high school to grades seven through 12, because it would send less of a mixed message to transgender athletes.  

“It’s particularly heartbreaking to have them involved in (sports in) middle school for a grade or two then to tell them they can’t compete in high school,” said Lawley. 

Roll Call
The broader ban received vast House support and was adopted on a 42-19 vote with one delegate absent.

Those voting against expanding the ban to grades seven and eight were the following:
Reps. Ryan Berger, R-Evanston
Landon Brown, R-Cheyenne
Forrest Chadwick, R-Evansville
Ken Chestek, D-Laramie
Ken Clousten, R-Gillette
Steve Harshman, R-Casper
Bill Henderson, R-Cheyenne
Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander
Sandy Newsome, R-Cody
Bob Nicholas, R-Cheyenne
David Northrup, R-Powell
Jerry Obermueller, R-Casper
Karlee Provenza, D-Laramie
Trey Sherwood, D-Laramie
Liz Storer, D-Jackson
Tom Walters, R-Casper
Mike Yin, D-Jackson
Dave Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne
Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne

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