1

Letters: Discriminatory bills not only wrong, could cost Montana millions of dollars

As a high school library assistant, I witness the importance of making every student feel safe, welcome and supported. HB 112 would ban transgender students from participating in athletics that align with their gender identity. This bill would affect athletes in elementary school through the collegiate level. 

A report released this month by the Center for American Progress found that trans-inclusive athletic policies (2011-2019) did not negatively affect cisgender girls (those whose gender identity matched their sex assigned at birth).

Benefits to transgender students extended beyond those involved in athletics. In schools with inclusive sports policies, additional transgender students noted improved mental health and well-being and decreased suicidality. Fair-Play1.pdf (americanprogress.org)

Discriminatory bills in North Carolina (HB2) and Idaho (House Bill 500) resulted in boycotts—with an estimated loss of $3.76 billion — and costly litigation. In addition, HB 112 would threaten $484 million of federal education funds in Montana.

Inclusive and affirming athletic policies protect our economy and save lives. Please contact your state senator and urge them to vote NO on HB 112.