Wyoming Bill Banning Trans Athletes from Women’s Sports Dies
A bill that would have banned trans athletes from competing in women's sports is dead for this session of the Wyoming Legislature after failing to meet a deadline on Monday.
Senate File 51--the Fairness in Women's Sports Act--sailed through the Wyoming Senate, winning final approval on a 24-5 vote last week.
But it was not considered by a House committee on Monday, the final day for bills to be reported out of committee for this session. Two attempts to move the bill forward despite House Speaker Eric Barlow's refusal to refer the bill to a committee in time to meet the deadline fell short.
Sponsor Sen. Wendy Shuler [R-Uinta County] had called the bill a fairness issue. She said that athletes who are born male retain significant size and strength advantages, even if they undergo testosterone suppression treatment. But opponents, including the Wyoming ACLU and Wyoming Equality, argued that the bill was discriminatory and risked landing Wyoming in court.
Also dying on Monday was the Civics Transparency Act which would have mandated that Wyoming school districts publish educational materials online no later than the July following the school year.
Sen. Ogden Driskill, [R-Campbell, Crook and Weston counties] had argued that parents have a right to see what materials are being used in the classroom.
In testimony before the House Education Committee on Monday, Driskill accused opponents of the bill of misrepresenting it and the amount of work it would create for Wyoming teachers.
Driskill also said it was ''not a CRT [Critical Race Theory] bill", even though former state Superintendent Jillian Balow in 2021 applauded the bill for being a way to fight the influence of Critical Race Theory in Wyoming classrooms. Driskill has said, however, that the transparency the bill would provide would ensure that both sides of controversial issues are discussed.
But opponents of the legislation, such as the Wyoming Education Association, had argued that the legislation would increase the workload for Wyoming teachers and was an attempt to micromanage classrooms.
The bill was defeated on a 5-4 committee vote and is dead for this session.
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