The Alaska Board of Education has passed a resolution unanimously, urging the state to limit the participation of transgender girls in girls school sports. The resolution passed last Thursday, calling on the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development to create two sports divisions, one for athletes whose sex assigned at birth is female and the other for students of all genders. This move is concerning for transgender rights activists, who argue that it discriminates against transgender girls, and is a step back in their fight for equal treatment.
This decision is not unique to Alaska, as several other states have proposed or enacted similar policies. However, this move comes at a time when the country is becoming increasingly progressive on LGBTQ+ issues, with the Biden administration reversing several Trump-era policies that discriminated against the community.
The resolution has sparked a debate on the rights of transgender athletes, with some arguing that they should be allowed to compete in sports based on their gender identity, while others argue that this could lead to unfair competition. Supporters of the resolution argue that it will ensure the safety and fairness of girls’ sports, but opponents say that it will only further marginalize transgender girls.
The Alaska School Activities Association’s director, Billy Strickland, stated that the resolution closely matches what members of Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy’s administration discussed with him previously. Dunleavy’s office released a statement Friday, saying that girls playing in single-sex leagues should be playing against other girls. They also suggested creating more co-ed opportunities so that all students can compete at their highest level.
State Senator Löki Tobin, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, expressed concerns that the board violated its requirement to allow the public to weigh in on resolutions before a vote. She also expressed concerns that the resolution could violate the right to privacy clause of the Alaska Constitution.