Transgender people say outright ban passed by Utah's Republican-dominated legislature prevents wrong the participation of all in sports. (Archives)
A high school athletic association in Utah secretly investigated a female athlete – without telling the athlete or her parents – after receiving complaints from the parents of two girls she had defeated in competition wondering if the girl was transgender.
The Salt Lake Tribunereported Thursday that the Utah High School Activities Association and Female Athlete High School determined she was indeed a young girl after reviewing her school records dating back to kindergarten.
The association's spokesman, David Spatafore, told lawmakers that the girl and her family had not been informed of the incident. investigation to spare them embarrassment and to keep the matter private, the newspaper reported.
The revelation came as at least 12 Republican-led states — including Utah — passed laws banning transgender women or girls from competing in sports. Supporters of the bans say transgender girls have an unfair advantage, as they were born as men with greater physical strength and could deny girls spots on sports teams.
There have been almost no instances of potential competitive advantages in K-12 sports in states that have enacted the bans, including Utah. The ban is being challenged in state court.
Mr. Spatafore told a legislative hearing on transgender athletes on Wednesday that the parents of athletes who placed second and third in a competition last year filed a complaint with the National Assembly. association after the girl won first place in an event by a wide margin, writes the Salt Lake Tribune.
Mr. Spatafore said the association has looked into other complaints involving transgender athletes in its efforts to comply with the Utah law, which went into effect in July. Some complaints include when an athlete doesn't look feminine enough, he said. None of the complaints have been verified.
Sue Robbins of the Utah Transgender Advisory Council of Equality says the association should publicly adopt a policy outlining how and when it can investigate student records.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox, a Republican whose ban veto earlier this year was overruled by the legislature, said Thursday that the parents' complaint about the girl under investigation had gone overboard.
“God, we live in this world where we've become sore losers, and we're looking for some reason why our kid lost.
—Spencer Cox, Governor of Utah
He said he supports fairness in sports, but what to do with it? such allegations is quite disturbing to me.
Before the ban, Utah had a registered transgender female athlete competing last year on an all-girls high school team, Mr. Spatafore.
In a lawsuit, three transgender girls and their parents claim that the outright ban passed by the Republican-dominated Utah legislature wrongfully prevents their children to participate in sports.
Their attorneys argue that this violates provisions of the state Constitution that prohibit discrimination and guarantee equal rights and due process.