Democratic Minnesota state Rep. Kaohly Vang Her dismissed concerns from some female athletes facing biological men in athletic competitions in the state’s House of Representatives on Thursday.
The Minnesota House State and Local Government Committee passed House File 173, which proposes adding an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the state constitution. The amendment would read, “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied by this state or any of its cities, counties, or other political subdivisions on account of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin.”
Senate Democrats are pushing a similar amendment on the national scale, holding a hearing Tuesday on the ERA. Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly mobilized women in opposition to the amendment as early as the 1970s, and even today experts warn that the amendment could eliminate all distinctions between the biological sexes, allowing trans-identified biological men to compete against females in athletic competitions. (RELATED: ‘HerShe’: Hershey’s Celebrates International Women’s Day With Biological Male, Sparks Backlash)
“I am so sorry but our cisgender girls are gonna be just fine. Society is built in a way that accommodates us already,” Vang her said in a House committee hearing. “The fears we have around a fair competition — it is fair. And the few trans girls that play with the girls, our cisgender girls will be ok.”
“I want to shift away from those conversations because they are not rooted in reality. Our fears today — what I’m gonna do is talk about why it is what we can all agree on is that we believe in a Minnesota that exists that allows everyone to thrive, I think we can all agree on that.”
Men are upending female sports competitions across the country. Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas beat out female competitors by 1.75 seconds in NCAA championships last year, prompting female athletes to criticize Thomas for what they said was an unfair advantage he held over them. Thomas finished a lap ahead of his competition at another race in February.
Fallon Fox, a biological male mixed martial arts athlete, fractured and gave a concussion to competitor Tamikka Brents in 2014. In 2022, a high school student allegedly injured three girls he played against.