Today, in an effort to protect the integrity of female sports and Missouri children from potentially harmful experimental surgeries and treatment, I have signed Senate Bill (SB) 39 and SB 49 into law.
Governor Parson has signed SB 39 into law, introducing guidelines for student participation in athletic contests organized by sex. The bill aims to ensure fairness in athletic competitions by aligning participation with the biological sex indicated on students’ official birth certificates or other government records.
Under SB 39, private schools, public school districts, public charter schools, and both public and private institutions of postsecondary education are prohibited from allowing students to compete in athletic competitions designated for the opposite biological sex. The legislation defines acceptable official birth certificates and states that female students may be allowed to compete in male-designated athletic competitions if no corresponding competition for female students is available.
Any educational institution found in violation of the act will face the consequence of losing state aid and other revenues. The bill also grants the parent or guardian of affected students, as well as students over eighteen years old, the right to pursue legal action seeking injunctive or equitable relief for denied athletic opportunities.
SB 39, which will take effect on August 28, 2023, joins other similar bills such as HCS/HB 183 (2023), HB 337 (2023), and HB 2197 (2022) in addressing the issue of student participation in athletic contests based on biological sex.
The passage of SB 39 follows closely behind the signing of SB 49, which establishes the “Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act” and introduces modifications to public funding for certain gender transition procedures. Together, these bills reflect Missouri’s evolving approach to issues surrounding gender and athletics.
Critics argue that these measures may have implications for transgender individuals and raise concerns about potential discrimination. Advocates, on the other hand, assert that the bills help ensure fair competition and protect the integrity of women’s sports.
As these new guidelines take effect, their impact on student athletics and transgender rights in Missouri remains to be seen.