Featured Image
Saint Louis, MO July 3, 2018; Missouri Governor Mike Parsons gives a speech from podium with American flags in background during grand opening of Gateway Arch national Park and museum.Shutterstock

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (LifeSiteNews) — Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed two new laws on Wednesday to push back on the encroachment of transgender ideology on the state’s youth, specifically to prohibit “transition” procedures on minors and males’ participation in female-specific athletic competitions.

Senate Bill 39 bans male students from participating in sports teams meant for female students, across both public and private education, from elementary school through college.

Senate Bill 49, the Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, forbids surgical and/or chemical procedures intended to “transition” an individual to the opposite sex on anyone younger than 18, as well as banning state Medicaid funds from supporting “transition” or taxpayer dollars from supporting “transitions” in state prisons.

“We, along with the vast majority of the General Assembly, agree that women and girls deserve fair sports competition without intrusion from biological men,” Parson said of the first bill. “Women and girls deserve and have fought for an equal opportunity to succeed, and with this legislation today, we stand up to the nonsense and stand with them as they take back their sport competitions. In Missouri, we support real fairness, not injustice disguised as social righteousness.”

“We support everyone’s right to his or her own pursuit of happiness; however, we must protect children from making life-altering decisions that they could come to regret in adulthood once they have physically and emotionally matured,” the governor added regarding the SAFE Act. “We thank Senator Mike Moon for working to pass SB 49 to protect Missouri children from harmful, irreversible treatments and procedures. These decisions have permanent consequences for life and should not be made by impressionable children who may be in crisis or influenced by the political persuasions of others.”

Mandatory inclusion of gender-confused individuals in opposite-sex sports is promoted by the left as a matter of “inclusivity,” but critics note that indulging “transgender” athletes in this way undermines the original rational basis for having sex-specific athletics in the first place, thereby depriving female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities. 

There have been numerous high-profile examples in recent years of men winning women’s competitions, and research affirms that physiology gives males distinct athletic advantages that cannot be fully negated by hormone suppression.

In a 2019 paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy;” therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [biological men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

Meanwhile, evidence shows that “affirming” a child’s confusion about his or her sex carries severe harms, especially when such affirmation takes the form of physically transformative medical procedures. 

Studies find that more than 80 percent of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

The issue is grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.

Many oft-ignored “detransitioners,” individuals who attempted to live under a false “gender identity” before embracing their sex, attest to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject.

Missouri’s new laws follow the state’s Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey issuing an emergency rule against gender experimentation on adults that required that anyone seeking to “transition” must have first undergone a total of 15 therapy sessions over an 18-month period.