SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some New Mexico Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill to level the playing field for female athletes competing with transgender athletes born as males. One of the sponsors of the controversial bill says this legislation all comes down to safety.
“To allow men or boys compete against women is fundamentally unfair and it’s dangerous and it takes away lots of opportunities for these girls; scholarships. You compete to win because winning is good for you psychologically, it encourages you to do other things and to excel in other things in your life. So when you take that opportunity away from girls it’s devastating,” said Representative Zachary Cook (R-Ruidoso).
House Bill 304 is called the Women’s Sports Protection Act and would prevent female athletes from competing with transgender athletes born as males. The bill state that there are only two biological sexes and that biological sex is determined at fertilization or at birth. It goes on to say that men have higher natural levels of testosterone which results in higher speed and power during physical activity, which leads to a performance gap between males and females.
The sponsor acknowledges they’ll get a lot of push back on this idea. “Boys and men should not be allowed to compete against girls and women its that simple and if you identify as a woman that’s fine but your self-identification as a woman does not change the fact that you are a man and personally, I don’t think you should be competing against women and girls,” said Rep. Cook.
Right now, under the New Mexico Activities Association bylaws, a student must compete in the gender officially listed on their birth certificate. In New Mexico, you are now allowed to amend your sex on your birth certificate. If passed, this would apply to not only middle and high schools, but universities in New Mexico. Opponents say the bill could increase any stress transgender people already deal with which include sexual abuse, bullying, and suicide.