NBC News conflates defending girls as "anti-trans" ... yet again

There has been a flurry of legislative activity going on in at least twenty states this winter related to protecting opportunities for females in girls’ and womens’ sports. That has made some of the reporters at NBC News rather unhappy, apparently. One example of this can be found in an article with the incendiary title, “State anti-transgender bills represent coordinated attack, advocates say.” The reporter breathlessly describes legislation “targeting” the LGBTQ community with suggestions of a clandestine “coordinated attack” by conservative groups. The only thing that seems to be missing is a QAnon reference. But what’s really being reported in this piece is actually a boatload of good news for female athletes.

Bills in at least 20 states are targeting the transgender community in what LGBTQ advocates say is an organized assault by conservative groups.

On Thursday, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban transgender student athletes from joining teams that match their gender identity. The measure, which passed 65 to 26, also calls for withholding state funds from sporting events that allow athletes to play as anything other than their sex assigned at birth. The bill now heads to the state Senate.

Supporters of the bill — including Republican state Rep. Ben Koppelman, its primary sponsor — say they want to protect opportunities for girls in sports, including access to athletic scholarships.

In the case of the North Dakota bill, opponents of the measure have hilariously described the legislation by saying it “just doesn’t follow the science.” As the bill’s sponsor informed them, we have literally thousands of years of science showing that the human race (as with virtually all mammals and plenty of other animals) is comprised of two specific genders, each required for natural reproduction. We also have plenty of current science showing that male-to-female transgender athletes retain significant advantages over their actual female competitors even after years of hormone therapy.

The North Dakota bill would restrict student athletics to the “biological” (read “actual”) gender registered at birth. On the same day that it was voted on, the Mississippi state senate passed an almost identical bill. Very similar measures have already been drafted in Georgia and Kansas, along with Utah and well over a dozen other states. The similarities between the bills aroused the suspicions of the NBC News team and they quickly identified the culprits. Lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom have been assisting state legislators seeking to enact such measures. But rather than some conspiracy, all NBC really uncovered was the well-advertised fact that ADF has a lot of experience in this field and is well-positioned to help craft bills with the best chance of overcoming challenges from liberal opponents.

There was one other hopeful bit of legislation covered in this article that’s not related to sports. Alabama is currently considering the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act. If passed, it would criminalize as a felony the performance of surgical procedures or the administration of medicines intended to halt or impede the normal development of children before and after puberty for the purpose of altering their biological gender. This would end the barbaric practice of giving dangerous puberty-blocking drugs to prepubescent children. (Drugs that have never been approved by the FDA for use in gender dysphoria cases.)

That’s a bill that we really need to see debated on the national level, but I suppose getting the measure off the ground in Alabama is a good start. And when the inevitable challenges come, it might finally force the Supreme Court to take a stand on this issue. Up until now, they have bobbed and weaved around the underlying realities when handling transgender policy cases, focusing on things like equal employment opportunities or dress codes. A bill such as Alabama’s could very well push the justices to address the fundamental question, at least when it comes to protecting vulnerable children from this sort of medical malpractice and child abuse.