Republican lawmakers scrap policy allowing transgender athletes to compete as girls – Keizertimes

The 12 Republican women in the Legislature are asking the Oregon School Activities Association, which oversees school sports, to change its policy.

A letter calling for a change in the policy governing transgender sports participation in Oregon was prompted by a high school competition on April 13, 2024. Aayden Gallagher, a transgender 10th grader at Portlands McDaniel High School, compete in the girls’ varsity division at the Need for Speed ​​Classic in Sherwood.

The 12 female Republican lawmakers in the state legislature are calling on the head of the Oregon School Activities Association to change its policy allowing transgender girls to compete as women in school sports.

The 2016 policy, which allows students to compete in the category of their consistently affirmed gender identity, is intended to be inclusive, according to the associations handbook.

Rules like this (promote) harmony and fair competition among member schools by maintaining equality of eligibility and (increasing) the number of students who will have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic activities, the handbook says. It adds that the policy promotes harmony and fair competition among member schools by maintaining equality of eligibility and (increases) the number of students who will have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic activities.

But Republican lawmakers disagreed and wrote to Peter Weber, the association’s executive director, saying any records or victories by transgender athletes were no victories at all.

The letter was signed by Reps. Vikki Breese-Iverson of Prineville, Christine Goodwin of Canyonville, Anna Scharf of Amity, Bobby Levy of Echo, Emily McIntire of Eagle Point, Kim Wallan of Medford, Lucetta Elmer of McMinnville, Jami Cate of Lebanon, Shelly Boshart Davis of Albany, and Tracy Cramer of Gervais, and by Sens. Kim Thatcher of Keizer and Suzanne Weber of Tillamook.

His letter was prompted by a high school competition on Saturday.

Aayden Gallagher, a transgender 10th grade student at Portlands McDaniel High School, competed in the girls varsity division at the Need for Speed ​​Classic in Sherwood.

According to sports website, she finished second in the women’s 200m dash and is currently ranked fifth overall and second in the women’s 400m dash, a race where she currently ranks fourth. Gallagher also placed seventh with his team in the 4100 relay and eighth in the 4400 relay.

Gallagher’s results were picked up by conservative X influencers, including TikToc’s Libs, who posted a video of the 200m race showing Gallagher charging past competitors, called the athlete a cheater and said his competitors had stolen their dream.

The New York Post and Fox News reported it, and other Republicans weighed in, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who called the Gallaghers’ second-place finish embarrassing, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Lyman of Utah, who say it was BS to X.

In Oregon, the 12 lawmakers asked Weber to provide a solution to families seeking answers as to why the OSAA does not believe women’s sports should be a safe space for biological women to compete and succeed.

Weber told the Capital Chronicle in an email that association officials are consulting with the executive board before responding to the letter. Weber declined to answer other questions about the number of transgender athletes in high school sports and their results. The associations’ handbook says the policy was developed with the Oregon Department of Education.

The OSAA recognizes that this policy will need to be periodically reviewed based on a better understanding of gender identity and expression, evolving legislation and social norms, the handbook says.

The topic has come up before. For example, in January, a tennis coach at Canby High School resigned over transgender student athletes competing in girls’ sports.

Lawmakers encouraged parents and students to boycott any competition involving transgender girls, and said they plan to propose legislation next session to strip transgender girls of their sports awards and records and give them to female athletes who come later

However, this legislation is unlikely to go anywhere: the legislature is controlled by Democrats and they broadly support LGBTQ+ rights. However, this past session, Goodwin of Canyonville introduced a bill with Republican Sen. David Brook-Smith of Port Orford to ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports. The proposal, House Bill 4054, was sent to the House health care committee, where it died without a hearing.

Democratic leaders in the Legislature told the Capital Chronicle in an email that the latest backlash against transgender athletes is predictable, offensive and dangerous.

Oregon student-athletes shouldn’t have to worry about politicians using their names in any effort to politicize or police gender, said Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber of Beaverton, and the leader of the House Majority Ben Bowman of Tigard. Sending a letter to a state agency is one thing, but singling out an Oregon kid to score political points crosses a line and risks hurting that student and his family.

They added: Legislative Democrats will not play politics at the expense of our children’s privacy, health and safety. We were going to protect our children by focusing on the issues that really have an impact on their well-being, like housing affordability, homelessness, and the drug crisis.

Contact Keizertimes staff:
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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