(The Center Square) – Most of Thursday’s debate in the Wisconsin Assembly focused on science and feelings.
Republicans in the State Assembly approved two bills that declare girls sports in the state for biological girls only and a third bill that would ban gender affirming care for children.
Gov. Tony Evers has promised to veto all three, but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos defended the ideas as what is right for Wisconsin and Wisconsin families.
Vos also said claims the “science is settled” about transgendered youth are off base.
“I think we are now seeing around the world that other countries have begun to look and say what science said should be done to minors clearly is wrong and other countries are beginning to transition to a way that is a much more affirmative care model that is not focused on trying to do things that are potentially harmful in the long run,” Vos said. “Hopefully Gov. Evers has a change of heart ,and we have the ability to send these bills to be at the forefront of the effort that’s happening around our country.”
The trans-athlete legislation has passed the Assembly before and would ban biological males from competing against girls both at the high school level and in the University of Wisconsin System.
The gender affirming care ban for children would do just that, ban sex change surgeries and/or hormone therapy on anyone under 18.
Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, calls the legislation The Help Not Harm Act.
“What this bill does is it grants minors the time for their minds to develop in order to make the right choice for them at the appropriate developmental age,” Allen said. “I want to make clear that this bill does not prohibit social transitioning and it does not affect adults. It allows minors the chance to hit the pause button before making a significant choice.”
Democrats called all three bills anti-trans.
“I am distraught that members of this body have decided that the best use of our time is to use the full weight of the government to bully, yes bully, the transgender community in this state,” Alex Joers, D-Middleton, said. “There is absolutely no evidence that this bill is even remotely relevant or necessary. But you know what we do have the evidence for the impact of these bills having a huge mental health impact on our LGBTQ+ young people.”
Rep. Barb Dittrich, R-Oconomowoc, said her bills to declare girls sports for biological girls only are pro-women.
Evers took to social media to promise to scuttle them.
“I will keep working every day to build a Wisconsin that is more welcoming, more inclusive, and more just for everyone, and that includes vetoing every single one of these bills,” Evers wrote.