A Vermont State Senator said a Christian school girl’s basketball team opting not to play against a team with a biological male qualifies as discrimination, Fox News reports.
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In February, Mid Vermont Christian School’s girl’s basketball team withdrew from a tournament upon learning they were scheduled to play against a team who allowed a biological male to compete against female athletes.
This caused the Vermont Principles’ Association (VPA) to declare the Christian school ineligible to compete in future state tournaments.
State Sen. Rebecca White (D) defended the VPA’s ruling to CNN, saying the Christian school’s decision not to compete against the trans athlete could cause negative “long-term outcomes for trans youth.”
“The athletes that we’re talking about are unlikely to go on to elite professional athletics, but that concept of discriminating against another person, it causes long-term outcomes for trans youth because they’re hearing rhetoric that tells them they are not valuable, that they’re dangerous,” White said.
She added that the parents and school officials who supported the Christian school forfeiting the game are disappointing.
Vicki Fogg, the Head of School at Mid Vermont Christian School, said the decision was made in the interest of “fairness” and the “safety” of the female athletes.
“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general,” Fogg said in a statement to Fox.
The VPA justified barring the Christian school from future competitions because the school failed to comply with the organization’s policies on gender.
“The VPA again reiterates its ongoing support of transgender student-athletes as not only a part of building an inclusive community for each student to grow and thrive, but also as a clear expectation by Vermont state law(s) in the Agency of Education Best Practices, and in VPA Policy regarding transgender student athletes,” a statement from the organization said.
Fox also reports Vermont state law prohibits any discrimination against athletes based on their gender identity.