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Nebraska’s proposed transgender athlete bill is constitutional, state AG says

Started by Jessica_Rose, April 04, 2024, 06:50:40 AM

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Nebraska's proposed transgender athlete bill is constitutional, state AG says

Story by Brooke Migdon (3 April 2024)

A Nebraska bill seeking to bar transgender athletes from competing on school sports teams that match their gender identity is constitutional, the state's Republican attorney general said Tuesday.

Nebraska's Legislative Bill 575, also known as the Sports and Spaces Act, would prevent transgender students from using public school restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity and require schools to designate participation in athletics based on sex assigned at birth. The bill would also redefine sex in a way that LGBTQ advocates have warned would exclude transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

In a legal opinion issued Tuesday, Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers (R) said Kauth's proposal is lawful. Hilgers, who served as the Legislature's Speaker from 2021 to 2023, has previously stated that participation in sports and access to restrooms should be based on sex assigned at birth rather than gender identity.

"We conclude that L.B. 575, as introduced, is constitutional. Courts have long found that separating sports and facilities by sex is permissible under the Equal Protection Clause," Hilgers wrote in his opinion, which is not legally binding.

"The word 'sex' in Title IX and its carve-outs for facilities and athletic teams refers to biological sex, not sexual orientation or gender identity," Hilgers wrote.

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An update on this. Thanks to the testimony of a gay senator, two GOP senators were persuaded to vote against it, which was just enough to prevent it from going any further.