Controversy over this weekend’s girls’ track competition reaffirms our need for HB 396

There’s been a lot of ink spilled in headlines as well as over social media – and rightly so – about the athlete favored to win the Women’s NHIAA Division 2 State Championship for high jump this Sunday.

The strong favorite, Maelle Jacques, is not a female. Granite Staters who are indignant over women’s rights being trampled after the hard fought battle to secure equal opportunity in athletics with the Title XI Amendment to the Civil Rights Act are indeed justified in their reactions. The hard work of our girls to be the best should not be disregarded so that a biological male can be affirmed in their gender identity and knock biological females off the awards stand. There is much we could lament about the wayward culture of relative truth that has sadly replaced the notion that gender dysphoria is a mental health illness that deserves treatment, not encouragement. But that is a long-term battle that the Church must undertake in her mission to combat lies with the truth and instill in the body of Christ a Judeo-Christian worldview that leads to the joy and fulfillment intended for man by our Creator.

While this cultural shift could take decades, there is a legal step that the General Court could take this session to defend girls and women from the transgender movement’s erosion of their protections. It’s the passage of HB 396 that preserves the right of the state and private entities to distinguish between males and females on the basis of biological sex. In places like schools or prisons, HB 396 goes further to protect the dignity and safety of Granite state girls than any of the other bills crafted in response to the unfairness in athletics blowing up newspapers and social media feeds weekly if not daily. These narrow pieces of legislation are good, but state laws aren’t just being abused and misrepresented by the NHIAA to destroy girls’ sports. We need a comprehensive approach to clarify.

Let’s cheer on the girls in this weekend’s track championship, but let’s not forget that their rights to safety and privacy are just as important, if not more so, than their rights on the playing field. If we allow our righteous indignation to draw us into a nearsighted fight only for women’s sports, we’ll miss an opportunity to set legal precedent that encompasses sports, bathrooms, locker rooms, and prisons and provide institutions a stool that allows them to step up and separate men and women without fear of legal retribution. For this reason, we must push for the passage of HB 396 before any other gender-related bills this session.

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