House Bill 183, protecting girls in sports, passes out of Education Committee, 4-3

A bill that aims to protect Alaska’s girl athletes from being disenfranchised by transgender (boys who want to be accepted to compete in sports as girls) passed out of House Education Committee today.

Democrats Rebecca Himschoot, Andi Story, and CJ Mccormick voted against the bill, while Republicans Mike Prax, Tom McKay, Jamie Allard, and Justin Ruffridge voted in favor of it. However, when he signed the committee report, Ruffridge wrote “non-rec” which means he had no recommendation.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Allard of Eagle River and cosponsored by Rep. McKay of South Anchorage.

Before passing from committee, the room heard testimony from Alaskans representing both sides of the issue.

Josh Smith of Anchorage said, “House Bill 183, banning trans kids from sports, is a solution looking for a problem. There’s very real problems in the state of Alaska, this not being one of them. There’s no evidence that trans girls pose any sort of threat to girls sports or take anything from cis-gender kids. These faulty changes are discriminatory and undermine the validity of these kids. Can we take into consideration that indigenous people whose land we live on now that gender is not defined as many do now. The recognition of roles in society of communities and families is not binary and it was common to recognize beings outside of the binary.” Smith, who appears to be white, went on to talk about indigenous people not being binary.

Lynn Hallford, who called from Palmer, said, “I am a strong supporter of HB 183. It supports the fairness for girls in sports. There are biological differences between boys and girls. Everyone has heard about basketball and volleyball players that were hurt when males competed against girls. Everyone has seen girls lose medals and probably scholarship opportunities when boys are allowed to compete with them.”

The bill, which simply reiterates that federal Title 9, championed by the late Sen. Ted Stevens, is law in Alaska pertaining to fairness for girls in athletics. The trans community is attempting to expand Title 9’s protection to boys who wish to compete as girls. The bill will now go to the House Judiciary Committee.

Watch the committee hearing at this link:

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