Critics Upset After Minnesota League Approves Transgender Policy for High School Sports

Zeam Porter talks about the years she played basketball on the girls team and how it always felt like the wrong team, during the Minnesota State High School League's public hearing on the proposed transgender policy. (Renee Jones Schneider / The Star Tribune)
Zeam Porter talks about the years she played basketball on the girls team and how it always felt like the wrong team, during the Minnesota State High School League’s public hearing on the proposed transgender policy. (Renee Jones Schneider / The Star Tribune)

Minnesota’s governing body for high school sports passed rules on Thursday that one critic said could hypothetically put a future NFL linebacker at power forward on a girls basketball team.

The Minnesota State High School League voted that boys who “self-identify” as girls and girls who consider themselves boys will be able to compete on and against teams of their preferred gender under the policy that will begin in the 2015-2016 season.

“When there is confirmation of a student’s consistent and uniform gender-related identity…the student will be eligible to participate in MSHSL activities consistent with the student’s gender identification for the balance of the student’s high school eligibility,” reads the policy. Executive Director Dave Stead noted earlier this year that the NCAA and 32 states already have “some sort of policy or procedure” in place regarding transgender student-athlete participation.

The league’s media specialist tweeted out, “Minnesota will become the 33rd state to implement a policy for transgender high school athletes.”

The policy requires transgender student-athletes to provide a written statement from a parent or guardian affirming the gender identity and a note from a health care professional regarding the student’s consistent gender identification.

But in a column for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, attorney John Hagen said the new rules would open the state up to lawsuits if it tried to gauge the sincerity of gender claims.

“Imagine the following scenario,” Hagen wrote. “An adolescent counterpart of Clay Matthews (the very long-haired, very burly linebacker for the Green Bay Packers) comes before your school board. He declares: ‘I always have had a feminine self-image. I never told anyone, because of society’s expectations, but I’m revealing it now. My long hair is evidence of my sincerity and my feminine self-expression.’

“The High School League’s pending policy would compel the school to let this boy play power forward on the girls’ basketball team, regardless of safety considerations. (Imagine a Clay Matthews look-alike bowling girls over under the basket.) If the school resisted, it would promptly be faced with a lawsuit under the “will be eligible” clause.”

Other critics have weighed in, including the Minnesota Child Protection League, which took out two full-page ads in the paper calling the policy “The End of Girls’ Sports?”

The ad shows a brunette softball player resting her head on a bat, as though she was benched, with the caption, “Her dreams of a scholarship shattered, your 14-year-old daughter just lost her position on an all-girl team to a male…and now she may have to shower with him.”

The policy states that these students would share showers and hotel rooms.

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SOURCE: FOX News

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