RON SCHALOW: HB 1298 Technically Not Discriminatory Towards Any Gender


That’s all the Republicans were shooting for with HB 1298. As in, “No transgender girls are playing high school sports in North Dakota, but technically they can’t if we pass a law.”

But there are big loopholes that won’t please the anti-transgender zealots.

I especially worry about how Sen. David Clemens, R-West Fargo, is going to take it when he finds out that HB 1298 doesn’t technically discriminate against any gender — if the teen is willing to compete against boys. Cisgender girls, transgender girls and transgender boys can play on a boys team. So can the LGBs.

But transgender existence is a moral issue to Clemens, so if gender nonconforming teens are allowed to compete with cisgender boys, what has he accomplished? How does Clemens square the exceptions with his morals?

Maybe he’s flexible. We’ll see when the Senate votes on HB 1298.

Nobody is predicting that boys high school sports will be encroached upon by masses of noncisgender teens, but nobody is predicting an influx of participation of transgender girls in girls sports either, but lack of a problem isn’t stopping legislators from writing a law based on their personal convictions rather than what’s in the best interests of the community.

Told by experts that North Dakota would lose visitors’ and their money if HB 1298 gets made into law, Clemens said, “If we end up losing some tournaments, so be it,” he told Forum Communications.

It doesn’t bother the senator if businesses and their employees lose money because, “Our youth are worth a lot more than a swimming tournament.”

Are our youth in danger? Is there a ransom? Will they appreciate in value if transgender swimmers aren’t allowed in the water? What does a ban do for our kids?

Clemens says that “transgender participation ‘doesn’t set a good example for West Fargo youth.’”

Does the senator want to restrict participation in debate club, chorus, orchestra, drama, prom, DECA, intramural sports and chess club, too?

How about 4-H? Or kick teams and National Honor Society?

Transgender kids are in classrooms, clubs and on the stages, and this campaign is out looking for the kids — but only the transgender girl kids — on the fields where they aren’t.

Considering the hurdles a transgender teen must jump just to be considered for eligibility and the inevitable knee-jerk backlash by those picky about their ninth-grade girls basketball, it’s a wonder that the number who’ve tried to meet the required standards isn’t less than zero.

“Youth today are ‘more confused than ever,’” continued Clemens, “and allowing transgender participation isn’t doing anything to give them a sense of security.”

The senator doesn’t explain what the adolescents are confused about.

Most “confused youth” know who won the last election and believe the virus exists. They understand global warming and are less inclined to attack Congress than their elders. They know how to look up truthful information.

It appears that Clemens is confused about the legislation he co-sponsored.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, D-N.D., has misconceptions about HB 1298, too.

Cramer flew to Bismarck last week to fire up the North Dakota House Republicans four months after the wind beneath his wings lost the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives within a tidy two-year span.

As for HB 1298, Cramer is all for it, if it did what he thinks it does.

According to Cramer, “We’re turning into a culture that teaches our daughters that the best way to succeed is to be a man.’’

That’s not happening. And HB 1298 isn’t concerned about transgender boys.

“The call to march down the Capitol — it was inciting.” — Sen. Kevin Cramer

That happened.

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