On March 9, the NH House Education Committee held a public hearing for bill HB198, to ban men from competing in women’s public high school and college sports. The bill opponents were well-organized to fight it, with hours of testimony in opposition to the bill.
Education Committee Chair Rick Ladd and prime sponsor of HB198 opened the hearing with his defense of the bill.
If an athlete’s mere claim that he is male or vice versa suffices, then that means the term sex used in Title IX is rendered useless. It is the girls who are being discriminated against.”
Parents of gender-confused boys testified against the bill. Abi Maxwell spoke on behalf of her 8-year-old son who expressed a desire to compete on a girls’ ski team. The mother asserted, referring to her son as a female, “She will not race with the boys. To ask her to is an act of bullying or exclusion.”
Dr. Gwendolyn Gladstone, a retired pediatrician, spoke for the American Academy of Pediatrics. In her testimony, speaking of gender-confused boys, she said “Optimal medical care for these children is to block puberty so that the expected rise in testosterone, increased muscle strength, and bone density do not occur.” She implied that post-pubertal males do not participate in female sports.
Jennifer Frizzell spoke for the NH Women’s Foundation. She claimed that the foundation “has a long history as a leading voice for Title IX here in the state, advocating for equity in school sports, opportunities for women and girls to benefit from athletic participation and teamwork and competition” Yet the foundation strongly supports allowing men to compete in women’s sports. Frizzell called HB198 “state-sponsored discrimination.”
Former ACLU-NH Trans Justice Organizer Palana Belken testified that “Not a single complaint has been brought against a transgender athlete here in New Hampshire.” This is disingenuous because Palana knows that New Hampshire female athletes have lost to men in regional track championships in Connecticut. Read about it at Men are Dominating Women’s Sports.
In his testimony, retired family physician Dr. Jennifer Smith made the bizarre claim that the girls who lost the track championships in Connecticut may have had higher testosterone than the boys that they lost to.
A 14-year-old girl speaking on behalf of the NH High School Democrats claimed that segregated sports are discriminatory and all sports should be co-ed. A Dartmouth College athlete who identifies as “non-binary” concurred with eliminating segregated sports in her testimony.
Jessica Smith, program coordinator for the pediatric and adolescent transgender program at Dartmouth Hitchcock submitted testimony against the bill. She also submitted the Gender Affirmative Approach to Care from the Pediatric Endocrine Society in which they admit that puberty blockers can lead to lifelong infertility.
I testified at the end, the lone supporter of the bill, save the sponsor, much to the chagrin of committee member Rep. David Luneau:
We deserve better than to have our spaces and sports taken over from boys and men. No one is telling these kids they can’t compete in sports.
We are telling male-bodied people to please, stick with your own sports, your own spaces. We don’t need you in ours.
On Twitter, Nashua state rep Allision Nutting-Wong repeated the false claim that HB198 would require that students’ genitals be examined. A mouth swab and a test for the presence or absence of the Y chromosome are all that is needed to determine a student’s biological sex.
Listening into the committee hearing on #HB198. It is truly disturbing to me that adults want to enact the #PenisPolice to “protect” girls sports. Kids are going through enough. Let’s work on education funding/priorities instead of stressing out about the genitals of children.
— Rep. Allison Nutting-Wong (@nuttia) March 9, 2021
On March 17, the Education Committee voted to retain the bill. We expect to see HB198 back in the committee this fall.