Bill in Washington legislature would restrict sports by birth gender

Right now in Washington, athletes can participate in sports “consistent with their gender identity.” That would change if a proposed bill is passed by lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session.

Rep. Brad Klippert (R) represents the 8th legislative district, which includes the Tri-Cities area.

A bill he’s proposing for the upcoming session would require that school districts and nonprofits “must prohibit male students from competing with and against female students in athletic activities with separate classifications for male and female students if the athletic activity is (a) intended for female students; and (b) An individual competition sport.”

The bill goes on to say that “‘male students’ means students whose assigned sex at birth was male.”

This would prohibit individuals born male from competing in things like women’s golf, for example, even if the individual identifies as female.

The website believes students should be able to participate in sports according to their gender identity, not their birth gender. It lists Washington as an inclusive state, citing a WIAA policy that says students can participate according to their gender identity.

According to the most recent WIAA policy, “The WIAA allows participation for all students regardless of their gender identity or expression.” It also says their participation is “irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records.” It also includes a process for appeal if a student’s participation is questioned based on gender identity. That includes appeal to a Gender Identity Eligibility Committee.

The Washington legislature opens the 2020 session on January 13th.