Local Nonprofits Upset Over North Dakota’s New Trans Athlete Law
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Some nonprofits are disappointed in Governor Doug Burgum for signing two transgender athlete bans into law.
Two house bills in the North Dakota legislature prohibit transgender girls and women from joining female sports teams in K-12 and college.
The Biden administration recently proposed a rule to forbid outright bans on transgender athletes.
“It’s interesting that this veto is coming right after the Biden Administration’s announcement recently as well as the Supreme Court’s decision last week to reject the emergency request to reinstate West Virginia law barring transgender athletes. Similar federal lawsuits are also pending in Idaho and Tennessee,” says Cody Schuler, the Advocacy Manager at the ACLU of North Dakota.
Gov. Burgum says there still has not been a single recorded incident of a transgender girl playing or entering the process in the past two years. Trans advocates are calling the newly signed laws against trans girls discriminatory.
“There seems to be a real concern in those who are proposing these laws that trans women have some sort of unfair advantage. I am not an expert but there’s a lot of science behind that shows that isn’t necessarily true. I think the lawmakers as well as the governor are not looking at all of the evidence from all sides of the issue,” Schuler said.
The Alliance Defending Freedom supports Burgum stating, “it’s imperative to affirm that biology, not identity, is what matters in athletics.”
Advocates believe lawmakers should be focusing on other issues across the state instead of targeting one group.
“This fight has been exhausting to have lawmakers target one particular group in this way. There are a lot of other issues going on in North Dakota and they’re pressing issues affecting a lot of citizens. When we take a look at the larger slate of legislation, there are a lot of other important issues that got one or two bills. This issue around trans people started off with twenty-something bills,” said Schuler.
Schuler says he has heard from some in the LGBT community across the state saying they’re feeling attacked as lawmakers try to legislate them from existence.