I wish to urge our legislators to vote no on HB 112, which would require athletic teams to be designated based on biological sex. As the appointed ASMSU lobbyist, it is my duty to explain why this bill is neither wanted nor needed at MSU.
This session, legislators have emphasized the importance of limited government and individual liberty. HB 112 is an example of government unnecessarily involving itself in the lives of individuals and deviating from those values.
The ASMSU discrimination statement ensures no one regardless of any status–including sex, gender identity, and genetic information–is excluded from ASMSU programs, activities, and services. This policy overwhelmingly passed a vote by the student body, indicating that MSU students want campus to be a safe and inclusive space. The Bozeman Nondiscrimination Ordinance also protects LGBTQ+ folks in public spaces. In Bozeman and at MSU, we strive to be inclusive and accepting of our LGBTQ+ community members.
Campus climate surveys have indicated that 10% of the MSU student body (roughly 1,700 students) identify as LGBTQ+. Every semester, hundreds of students, staff, and faculty elect to participate in Safe Zone training, a course intended to educate on LGBTQ+ issues. This attitude at MSU is a part of the reason that in June 2020, MSU was named the best college in Montana for LGBTQ+ students.
The title of this bill – the “Save Women’s Sports Act” – is also rhetorically manipulative, suggesting that women’s sports are in need of “saving” without explaining why such “saving” is needed in the first place. I surveyed many student athletes and found that that cis-female athletes don’t see trans women athletes as a threat to their sports, furthering that HB-112 is neither wanted nor needed.
I strongly urge our legislators in Helena to vote no on HB 112.