Alaska is expected to become the 24th state in the U.S. to ban transgender girls from competing in girls' sports.
According to The Christian Post, the Alaska State Board of Education & Early Development passed an amendment to state law on Thursday, asserting that "if a separate high school athletics team is established for female students, participation shall be limited to females who were assigned female at birth."
A memo published ahead of Thursday's meeting notes that the amendment urges school districts wanting to join the Alaska School Activities Association to offer "interscholastic activities in a manner that [ensures] fairness, safety, and equal opportunity for female students in high school athletics by limiting participation in separate high school athletics teams for female students in competitive or contact sports to females who were assigned female at birth."
The memo also states that the amendment's acceptance depends on "Department of Law review and approval." The Alaska Department of Law is directed by Republican state Attorney General Treg Taylor.
As stated on the State Board of Education & Early Development's website, "Review of adopted regulations is done first by the Department of Law. After its review, the package is sent to the Lt. Governor's Office for a final review. The regulation becomes effective 30 days after the Lt. Governor has signed off."
It will take at least another month for the law to take effect, a timeline laid out by the State Board of Education & Early Development says.
"Thank you to the State Board of Education for acting to protect the opportunity for girls to participate in high school sports in a division that is safe, fair, and competitive. The board received well over 1,300 public comments, and I appreciate board members taking the time to get this regulation right," Alaska's Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy wrote on Facebook Thursday.
Six months before the adopted regulation, The Board of Education introduced a regulation "in support of preserving the opportunity for student-athletes while balancing competitive fairness, inclusion, and safety for all who compete."
The resolution explained how "at puberty, biological male athletes generally gain physiological advances such as larger skeletal structure, greater muscle mass and strength, less body fat, greater bone density, larger hearts and greater oxygen-carrying capacity."
Overall, the resolution calls for "a girls' division with participation based on a student's sex at birth" and "a division for students who identify with either sex or gender."
The ACLU of Alaska, however, condemned the amendment.
"The decision to approve this proposal is a direct attack on Alaskan students who simply want to play sports, like any other kid," ACLU of Alaska Advocacy Director Michael Garvey said in a statement. "The Board has totally disregarded the ways this policy violates the privacy of young Alaskans, and sanctions wholesale discrimination against transgender children."
"The Board failed to recognize that Alaska's constitutional rights, including equal protection under the law, apply to every single one of us, no matter our gender identity," he continued.
So far, at least 23 other states have passed laws requiring athletes to play sports in accordance with their biological sex, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jacob Lund
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.