Bill involving transgender student-athletes sparks controversy

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill in the Missouri House had people traveling all over the state to testify in a public hearing last week.

It’s a bill that would require transgender student-athletes to play sports with the gender assigned at birth.

Children, parents and experts from all across the state traveled to Jefferson City to voice their opinions on the bill.

People against the bill say it could increase suicide rates among trans students.

They also say there’s already a governing body overrules when it comes to Missouri public school athletics — The Missouri State High School Activities Association — which does have some guidelines for trans students that wish to participate in high school sports.

Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade told me the conversation last week was emotional for her to listen to.

(Rep. Crystal Quade/D-Springfield)
“If this was to go into effect it would have young trans children who would, for instance, be going to school all day long as a boy you know as the gender that they are going by using the preferred name everyone at school refers to them as a boy and then they go and play on a girls sports team afterward.”

The house bill was proposed by Republican Representative Robert Ross but there’s a similar one in the Senate.

The Senate bill sponsor Republican State Senator Cindy O’laughlin said in January, “And then I started seeing in the news where across the country, you had women who were being beaten by biologically born men in big competitions and I thought, ‘I just don’t think people think that’s right.’ I want to be supportive of all people, but I want things to be fair.'”

This would be a constitutional amendment, meaning this decision would be sent to the voters to approve or not.

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