House Education advances Senate-approved legislation barring trans athletes from participating in K-12 and college girls’ sports, a reversal from the committee’s rejection of a similar bill last week.

Former LSU championship-winning decathlonist Claston Bernard spoke in favor of the bill. He said trans athletes have a competitive advantage in women’s sports.

“Is that fair to allow someone as big and as strong as I am to compete against women? I just find that… that shouldn’t happen,” said Bernard. “I can go back to my days at LSU with my female training partners. We’d encourage them, they would work hard, sweat, tears, throwing up, but they knew their limits, we knew their limits.”

Franklin Representative Vincent St. Blanc said he and his constituents are concerned long-standing records would be shattered if this bill doesn’t pass.

“Every girls’ record will be broke,” said St. Blanc.

Bill author Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell said the bill is preemptive, as there are currently no trans athletes participating in Louisiana girls’ sports, but The NCAA has threatened to move events out of states that enact such laws. That could threaten New Orleans’ scheduled hosting of the Final Four in 2022.

Coalition for Louisiana Progress Chair Melissa Flournoy sid the legislation is discriminatory and a solution in search of a problem. She noted current LHSAA rules basically do not allow for trans athletes to participate in K-12 sports.

Forum for Equality Executive Director Sarah Jane Guidry says after 12 months of testosterone suppression trans athletes fall under the usual variance in athletic ability from woman to woman.

“We are perpetuating a fear and an issue that has no place in the Pelican State,” said Guidry, who noted she was a high school athlete and would have been proud to compete next to trans athletes.

Governor John Bel Edwards has indicated he will veto the bill should it make it to his desk.

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