Adult Sports Eric Brown  

Adults in Arizona are attempting to prevent transgender students from participating in school sports.

Marilyn Morrison, Chelsa Morrison’s daughter, was finally ready to return to public school this year. In 2017, their family relocated from Texas to Arizona, the same year that Texas politicians presented an anti-trans measure that would restrict girls like Marilyn, now 11, from using the toilet that matches their gender identification in schools. Even though Marilyn was not out at her new school, she would regularly overhear students discussing how LGBTQ people were “going to hell.”

“When you make statements like that around my kid or any youngster who falls under the LGBTQ banner, they know they’re not safe.” Morrison told VICE, “It was a trainwreck.” she was unhappy and wanted to be homeschooled due to the circumstances. That’s terrible for her since she’s so lonely.”

Marilyn decided to try public school again after a year and a half of homeschooling, believing that things would be different this time. She wanted to be a regular adolescent girl with crushes, lunchtime gossip, and sleepover parties, so she joined the soccer team with her female peers. Things won’t change for Marilyn or any other transgender girl in Arizona if a measure just passed the Arizona House of Representatives is enacted into law.

House Bill 2706, often known as the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” would restrict transgender females in Arizona from participating in school sports teams that match their gender identification. These kids would have to compete in intramural coed leagues or play on the boys’ team to compete. We’ve to participate, are covered by the law.

The bill’s principal author, State House Representative Nancy Barto, thinks that HB 2706 is important to maintain “fairness” in student athletics by preventing “biological males” from dominating women’s sports. When he debated the bill in the House, 

Barto could not provide specific examples in Arizona where this had occurred but instead cited a lawsuit filed in Connecticut by the conservative legal group; 

Alliance Defending Freedom alleged that two trans female students had a competitive advantage over other girls in track competitions.

We explain that guys are not permitted to play on women’s teams and that there is a mechanism to detect their sex.”

HB 2706 has been attacked by human rights organizations and business leaders in Arizona after passing the Arizona House by a thin two-vote margin on March 3. In a statement, the ACLU of Arizona called the bill “intrusive,” “hazardous,” and “racist.” We received more than 40 corporate signatures on a petition urging legislators to reject any legislation “targeting transgender minors.” Apple, Google, Ikea, Microsoft, Nike, and Uber are among the signatories.

Opponents of the law claim that Arizona will face a slew of legal and ethical concerns if it passes. In its original form, HB 2706 would have required students accused of being transgender to submit to medical testing based on three criteria: “testosterone levels, chromosomes, and an exam of their internal and external genitalia,” according to Dr. Andrew Cronyn, a general pediatrician in Tucson. He has been practicing for 20 years. Notably, a student-athlete does not have to be trans to be exposed to the legislation’s examination.

“I nearly cried throughout my testimony because I was thinking about my 7-year-old daughter,” Cronyn added. “She has her hair chopped short and wins a race.” ‘You need to have your blood taken, and we need to inspect your internal and external genitalia,’ a female on another team may remark. That is child maltreatment.”

While he later removed the bill’s criteria for examining genitalia and measuring hormone levels to identify transgender identity, kids would still be required to do DNA tests. “Unless it impairs somebody’s medical care,” Cronyn said, he would not pay such fees under Arizona’s Medicaid program. If families were forced to pay for the tests out of pocket, they might end up paying up to $1,000.

“Poor girls will be responsible for this, and there are no rules on who may file these complaints,” he stated. “I was watching from the audience and thought this girl [won] since she isn’t truly a female.’ It wouldn’t be enough for her to provide her birth certificate.”

Because there are no norms or procedures in place for filing official complaints, cisgender students are much more likely than transgender students to be injured by the Act. Before being allowed to compete on school sports teams under their gender identification, trans children must submit their letter professional, a school administrator, and a parent to the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Only six transgender women have ever been authorized.

Lizette Trujillo, the mother of a transgender 12-year-old in Arizona, is likewise concerned about who will get access to the “private medical information” of cisgender and trans youngsters whose identities are in dispute.

You’d turn genetic testing onto,” Trujillo told VICE, adding that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protect this information. “It’s simply another method to push trans kids out of school and restrict them from participating securely in classes and school activities.”

If signed into law, he will almost certainly challenge Arizona’s bill under FERPA laws, as well as of 1972,

United States Constitution can’t treat people differently unless it has a legitimate reason. However, 21 states, including Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Washington, have sponsored similar legislation.

According to the LGBTQ advocacy organization Freedom for All Americans, at least 41 anti-trans measures have been submitted in the 2020 legislative session, setting a new high. Twenty states have introduced legislation that would make it illegal for physicians to provide transgender adolescents with life-saving therapies like hormone therapy and puberty blockers. It would be a criminal in several states to do so.

The “explosion” of legislation targeting trans people in 2020, according to Freedom for All Americans CEO Kasey Suffredini, is fuelled by the general failure of anti-trans bathroom measures in prior years. Even though legislators summoned a special session to get it through, the legislation above in Texas failed to become law. After 200 corporations threatened to quit the state, he finally replaced North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 with a watered-down version.

“They’re on the lookout for the next fear technique to attempt to diminish support for LGBTQ people,” Suffredini told VICE. “As more Americans come to embrace transgender individuals, they see these types of ideas for what they are: a planned attempt to stir up misconceptions and bigotry.”

Many of this year’s anti-trans initiatives failed to garner momentum in their respective state legislatures, but a handful succeeded. Just hours after passing a second law prohibiting transgender persons from changing their birth certificates to match their gender identification, the Idaho House enacted a prohibition on trans female students engaging in girls’ sports by an overwhelming 52-17 majority.

Before becoming law, Arizona’s measure will have to scale a considerably higher mountain than Idaho’s bill. In both the Idaho House and Senate, Republicans have a 60 percent majority, whereas Republicans in Arizona only have a four-seat advantage in the House. Arizona Democrats would only need to flip two of their conservative colleagues to stop HB 2706 from becoming law. They “look to be potential ‘no’ votes,” according to KPNX-TV in Phoenix, although neither has commented on the issue.

Morrison has a warning for any Arizona politicians contemplating supporting House Bill 2706: Come over and introduce yourself to her family. She claims that if they did, people would realize that they are simply a “normal family with a transgender kid, and that’s not even the most outstanding thing about her.”

Morrison added, “I have a kid that I know is special in several ways, “She is a formidable opponent.” She’s not going to give up and allow someone to walk all over her and her pals because of something she can’t control. She was born with an identity. No pharmaceutical can make it go away, and no law will alter who she is.”