State lawmakers hear testimony on bills aimed at blocking transgender females from school sports
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Dozens of people spoke out Thursday on two bills looking to block transgender females in the state from competing in school sports.
The Republican backed bills were the focus of public hearings.
Testimony included mental health professionals who talked about how harmful the bills are to transgender youth.
Schools officials including UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and the Maine School Management Association also spoke out against it.
Those backing the bills say it’s unfair to female athletes to compete with and against athletes who were born as males.
“Preserving the hard won equality and rights of women and feel it is imperative that the rights of biological females be protected against injustices and challenge the unfair consequences of dissenting from an ideology that seeks to eradicate the very concept of women in sports,” said Rep. Beth O’Connor (R-Berwick.)
“Excluding women who are trans hurts all women and reinforces stereotypes that women are weaker than men, and need protection. Protection from a perceived unfair advantage that does not exist, because it ignores the actual lived conditions of the transgender experience,” said Elizabeth Sereka, a Bangor resident.
Similar controversial bills have been passed in several states across the nation.
Last month, the NCAA reaffirmed its support for allowing transgender athletes who have undergone hormone therapy to compete in the divisions aligned with their gender identity.
Another public hearing is scheduled for May 13th
Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.