Press "Enter" to skip to content

O’Laughlin resolution mandates students participate in events, sports corresponding with ‘biological sex’

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin filed a resolution this week that could require students to participate in single-gender, statewide activity association events in the division pertaining to the gender assigned at birth. 

The resolution would put a constitutional amendment mandating students participate in events corresponding to the individual’s “biological sex” to a vote. 

“One of the things that government should do is try to make sure we have a level playing field so that some people don’t get an unfair advantage,” O’Laughlin said. “If you have a daughter, and she has practiced and trained and done everything she could do to be excellent in a sport, and if she enters a race and a male who now identifies as a female enters the race and wins, that’s patently unfair.” 

“It’s not an issue of my trying to determine someone else’s lifestyle,” she said. “We should try to keep things on a level playing field.” 

O’Laughlin, a Republican and a member of the Senate Conservative Caucus, argued not only do students spend effort on training for sports, but parents can also shell out time and money. 

A representative for PROMO, a Missouri LGBTQ advocacy group, said, “Every student deserves a fair chance to succeed in school and prepare for their future — including students who are transgender.” 

“School administrators have long been able to accommodate the needs of their students without banning transgender students from student activities and common spaces,” Shira Berkowitz, PROMO’s communications manager, told The Missouri Times. “It can be hard to understand what it means to be transgender, especially if you’ve never met a transgender person. Transgender students are part of our school communities, and like other students, they’re there to learn, graduate, and prepare for their future.” 

SJR 50 was submitted during pre-filing this week

A copy provided to The Missouri Times stated: “Students participating in any event or activity, that is a single-gender event, organized by any statewide activity association shall be required to participate in the event corresponding to the student’s biological sex.” It further clarified “biological sex” to mean the gender assigned at birth.