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New Mexico school district to discuss transgender athletics

June 22, 2021 GMT

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — School board members in southern New Mexico plan to discuss a proposal that could restrict participation in sports by transgender athletes.

The Alamogordo school board scheduled a work session for Saturday that will include time for the public to comment on the proposed resolution.

Jerrett Perry, the school district superintendent, has said that allowing transgender girls to compete in girls’ sports would impede the opportunities for biological female student athletes on the court and the field.

“I support this stance and will adamantly defend the integrity of biological female athletes,” he told the Alamogordo Daily News.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is taking issue with the proposal. The organization sent a letter Tuesday to the school board saying such a policy if adopted by the district would violate state and federal law.

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Citing previous federal court rulings and New Mexico statutes, the ACLU wrote that the “proposal flies in the face of civil rights and liberties. This is about protecting our children from discrimination by the very professionals we trust to keep them safe.”

The move comes as lawmakers in more than 20 states have considered bills that would restrict which teams transgender students can join. Supporters of the legislation say many transgender students of the biological male sex have an unfair advantage since they are physically stronger. Opponents, including the ACLU, argue such bans can exacerbate mental health issues that affect transgender students.