By Sen. Wendy Schuler, guest columnist
Schuler is a Republican Senator from Evanston, Wyoming
The Wyoming House leadership made the decision not to bring SF 51–Fairness in Women’s Sports to the floor by not assigning it to a committee. Disappointing? Absolutely.
As legislators, when we are asked by constituents to solve a problem or an issue, we take it on and put our whole heart and soul into it.
As a former female athlete, long time coach of females, and an advocate for girls and women, I am passionate that their rights to equality are paramount.
This bill would ensure that our girls and women get a fair shake when they step onto the field or court.
This is a bill about biology and fairness and it was NEVER about being “mean” as one of my Senators remarked during debate.
When your biological daughter, granddaughter, niece, or female cousins get left behind while others who ‘identify as females’ take their places on the court or in the pool, or field are you going to be ok with that? I think not.
There may not be large numbers now, but there are 50 transgender athletes competing right now in college women’s sports teams with potentially 100 more in the process of transitioning.
We don’t have data on high school trans athletes but there have been 48 hearings at the high school level on trans issues, and there are approximately 1.4 million transgender persons in our country.
We shouldn’t wait until we see what the numbers look like in Wyoming. We know we have issues that are here already and the safety of our girls and women should also be of utmost concern for our citizens.
If your daughter is the one on the sidelines who is left out of playing time, recognition, and scholarship opportunities then maybe those who oppose this bill will see the fairness issue up close and personal.
Eleven states have passed legislation and more are in the process. This bill is constitutional and so then the issue comes down which side do you want to choose?
Our girls and women have enjoyed the benefits of Title IX legislation for 50 years and even though our world has changed, they should still have the same benefits of a level playing field as their mothers, grandmothers, and female relatives have had since 1972.
Transgender athletes have other opportunities with co-ed sports and mixed level sports where biology is NOT a factor.
If we allow the loopholes that are allowed by the WHSAA, we will see even more equity problems by allowing those with gender identity issues to compete whenever they wish, and the fairness factors will go out the door. We have women’s sports for a reason.
Wyoming residents have reached out in overwhelming numbers in support of this bill. Their voices are sometimes not heard by some of our media outlets, but they are out there and they want to see the Legislature be pro-active with this issue.
Let’s keep our biological women and girls competing in female sports and continue to celebrate their successes!