TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The nationwide discussion of whether to allow transgender women, who were born men, to play women’s sports has entered the Kansas Statehouse.
The state’s lawmakers are discussing whether transgender people should be allowed to play sports. A new bill, SB 208, had its first committee hearing Tuesday. In short, its intentions include “creating the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act to require that female student athletic teams only include members who are biologically female.”
Those who support the bill said it’s an attempt to keep women’s sports fair.
“If we allow transgender women, who are biological men, in the sports arena of women, then we will lose,” said Barbara Saldivar, state director for Concerned Women for America of Kansas.
But those against it, like Wichita Representative Stephanie Byers, have a different point of view.
“We can sit there and say there’s a biological advantage, but proof doesn’t exist for that right now, we don’t see that, and if we’re talking about biological advantages, then a person who’s taller than average shouldn’t be allowed to play basketball,” Byers said.
Byers, who is transgender, is worried about the mental health of young trans girls because they would be discouraged if they are not allowed to play with girls.
“Part of athletics is learning to compete, and the point of athletics is the team-man-ship, the sportsmanship, learning to work together in a community,” Byers said. “Then including trans people in that just furthers those goals even more.”
Supporters said it’s really about making sure the playing field is level.
“We really have nothing against transgender people,” Saldivar said. “It’s really not about grade school kids, it’s really more about when you’re in college and you’re earning those scholarships, it’s not really about little children at all, we would never want to hurt a child.”