GOP leader takes aim at league after transgender policy vote

Published 10:08 am Monday, December 8, 2014

ST. PAUL — A top Republican is calling for more scrutiny of the Minnesota State High School League following the league’s approval last week of a policy to let transgender athletes play on the sports teams that best align with their gender identity.

State Rep. Joyce Peppin of Rogers, who is set to become House majority leader next month, told a group of GOP activists Saturday that she thinks the league needs legislative oversight.

The league’s board voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve the policy. Proponents say it will make transgender students feel more welcome in sports. Critics say it’s risky to let transgender girls, who were born as boys, play on girls’ teams.

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Peppin said she’s concerned about the decision, as well as the autonomy of the non-elected body, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. She said she does not yet have a specific proposal.

“I think that if folks don’t like their decision, they ought to have an opportunity of some redress of grievances,” Peppin said.

Opponents are concerned about transgender students in locker rooms. Advocates for transgender athletes say those fears are baseless and have never been a problem in other states with similar policies already in place.

Minnesota joins 32 other states that have some guidelines for transgender students participating in high school sports, according to the MSHSL.

Gov. Mark Dayton applauded the league’s action Thursday.