The first trans state senator tackles sports bans- POLITICO

With help from Rishika Dugyala and Teresa Wiltz

What up Recast family! The economy added 431,000 jobs in March, dropping the unemployment rate to 3.6 percent, and there’s a new GOP effort to sink ex-NFLer Herschel Walker’s Senate bid in Georgia. First, though, a look at the accelerated push to restrict transgender participation in school-sanctioned sports. 

Trans issues are roiling politics, of which Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride is all too aware. And what the Democrat sees worries her.

This week, two Republican governors signed laws barring trans women and girls from participating in school athletics consistent with their gender identity – after another pair of GOP governors took the opposite tack, vetoing similar bills.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans, led by Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, sponsored legislation this week honoring Emma Weyant as the “rightful winner” of NCAA Division I Women’s 500-yard Freestyle event – after Weyent lost to Lia Thomas, a transgender woman who’s become a Republican lightening rod.

Many Republicans see preventing transgender athletes from participating in women’s and girls’ athletics as a way to protect the integrity of sports. It’s an issue likely to galvanize Republican voters in the midterm elections.

Nationwide, 14 states have laws on the books banning trans women from competing in sports, according to the Movement Advancement Project – and nearly half of state legislatures are considering other bans on trans athletes, including in Delaware. (Transgender women have been allowed to compete in women’s categories in the Olympics since 2003 and the NCAA since 2010.)

Enter McBride, a former activist who made history in 2020 when she became the highest-ranking openly transgender elected official in the country. Last week, she chaired a hearing on SB 227 – the video clip of which quickly made the rounds on Twitter for McBride’s impassioned speech.