MADISON, Wis. (AP/TMJ4) — Transgender athletes would be banned from participating in girls’ and women's sports in Wisconsin from kindergarten through college under bills introduced by Republican lawmakers.
The proposals unveiled Tuesday come as more than a dozen other states consider similar measures.
The Wisconsin proposal faces an almost certain veto from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers should it pass the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Republican sponsor Rep. Barb Dittrich says Evers would be a sexist if he doesn't support her proposals.
Opponents say such proposals violate Title IX of federal education law prohibiting sex discrimination.
Under the bills, transgender girls would be barred from girls' sports in kindergarten through 12th grade and in women's collegiate sports.
According to a data set from the Movement Advancement Project published on the UW System's website, Wisconsin ranks "fair" for LGBTQ equality in the U.S.
Their map shows the overall policy tallies for each state, counting the number of laws and policies within the state that help drive equality for LGBTQ people.
The study states the categories of laws covered by the policy tally include: Relationship & Parental Recognition, Nondiscrimination, Religious Exemptions, LGBTQ Youth, Health Care, Criminal Justice, and Identity Documents.
The "fair" ranking shows that 4.75 to 9 points in sexual orientation and 5 to 9.75 points for gender identity.
That places Wisconsin somewhere in the middle compared to the rest of the 50 states for LGBTQ equality.
Gov. Tony Evers wrote the following on social media Tuesday: "My message to Wisconsin’s transgender kids and students today is simple: I see you. You are welcome, you are wanted, and you belong."
My message to Wisconsin’s transgender kids and students today is simple: I see you. You are welcome, you are wanted, and you belong.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) March 2, 2021
Democratic members of the Wisconsin LGBTQ Caucus issued the following statement:
“Today’s Republican attacks on transgender youth and children in Wisconsin continue a deeply disturbing trend of legislators seeking to limit the rights and opportunities of LGBTQ+ youth in their schools. All young people, including transgender or intersex athletes, should have the right and the opportunity to participate in organized, school-sponsored athletics consistent with their gender identity.
“This proposed legislation is cruel and discriminatory and will cause further harm to children who are already under attack for simply being themselves. There is no place for discrimination in our schools, and that includes organized athletics. We must welcome and champion all athletes, regardless of gender identity or expression.
“This legislation is a blatant attempt to codify discrimination and perpetuate damaging, inaccurate, and deeply offensive stereotypes against trans youth, and discriminate against a group of young people who simply wish to apply their best selves in a sport they are passionate about. Instead of attacking kids who just want to play, our Republican colleagues should get to work on COVID-19 relief for struggling Wisconsinites.”