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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

House takes up bill that would limit transgender athletes’ participation

Rep. Lisie Burgos Muñiz

By The Star Staff

The House Social Welfare Committee on Thursday launched hearings on House Bill 764, which seeks to stop transgender athletes from participating on sports teams made up of the gender with which they identify.

The measure provides that any sports team from a public school or public university, or that competes against them, can only establish rosters made up exclusively of biological males, or females, or mixed membership.

“It is necessary and urgent for us to advocate for women’s rights in sports and fight to prevent the displacement of each one and the loss of their rights,” Committee Chairwoman Rep. Lisie Burgos Muñiz said. “Therefore, I am not willing to give in in any way in the search to guarantee the rights of women.”

The bill focuses on women’s sports leagues since women’s sports, the bill’s proponents say, have been threatened internationally due to the participation of males on female teams and delegations.

Similarly, the legislation entitled “Law to Save Women’s Sports” explicitly establishes that “no school or academic institution will admit males as members of a sports team made up exclusively of persons of the female sex.”

During the hearing, attorney Fabiola Acaron Porrata-Doria and Sandra Mercado of Female Athletes Asking for Equality (FAPI) both endorsed the legislation and emphasized their rejection of the participation of trans women in sporting events who wish to compete against biological women.

“Placing a woman to compete against a trans person who has had their puberty period developed would place the woman at a disadvantage,” Porrata-Doria said.

“Our goal is to exalt the presence of anyone who wishes to compete at the level that satisfies them, as long as particular measures are taken to ensure fair competition and representation,” she added. “We must not foster inequality and assimilate biodiversity as a factual reality.”

Any dispute about a student-athlete arising from the measure will be resolved by the school or university institution to which the student belongs, according to the bill’s language.

Likewise under the legislation, no government entity, accreditation or licensing agency, or athletic association or organization, may hear complaints, open investigations, or take any other adverse action against a school or university institution for maintaining separate sports teams for female students.

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