JEFFERSON CITY — Abolitionists @ Mizzou, members from OASIS, a transgender support and advocacy group, and other student activists gathered outside the state Capitol for a march Saturday against recent legislation regarding transgender issues in the Missouri General Assembly.

The bills being protested include youth-sports bills such as Senate Bill 503, House Joint Resolution 53, House Joint Resolution 56, House Bill 1045, House Bill 1077 and House Bill 1184. The main goal of these bills is to only allow middle, high school and college athletes to participate in sports based on their sex assigned at birth.

Other bills being protested include:

House Bill 33, which would prohibit medical providers from administering medical or surgical treatment for the purpose of gender reassignment for anyone under the age of 18.

House Bill 1128, which would allow the Department of Social Services to give consent to routine and nonroutine medical care for a child in the Division’s custody.

HJR 53 would require schools to designate athletic teams or sports based as “males,” “men” or “boys”; “females,” “women” or “girls”; or “coed” or “mixed.”

In summary, students who were assigned male at birth cannot participate in athletic teams or sports designated for females. This conversation is happening on a national level, with transgender advocates arguing that trans women and girls continue to be used as a cultural punching bag by conservative pundits.

Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, has sponsored HJR 53 and HB 1045.

“I have granddaughters, a couple of them play high school sports. And I think that they should compete in the sex that they were given at birth,” Basye said. Many people who opposed Bayse’s bills argue that procedures are in place to protect the integrity of the competition.

Missouri State High School Activities Association policy permits trans students to apply to play on teams that do not match the gender assigned at birth in certain circumstances.

The rules aim to ensure “competitive fairness.” They stipulate that trans athletes must be on hormone replacement therapy for at least a year before being eligible to participate in single-gender sports.

The protesters who gathered around the Capitol also demanded an end to violence against the trans community, specifically Black trans women.

“So, I really hope that people just see that trans people exist and that we are here and that we can do anything that they can do, …. except a little bit better,” said Marion Johnson, MU student and member of Abolitionist @ Mizzou group.

  • Sophomore at the Missouri School of Journalism studying broadcast journalism. Reporter for The Columbia Missourian and KOMU 8 News.

  • Molly Hart is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. She has previously reported on state government. She can be reached at mhart@mail.missouri.edu.

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