BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. – A Minnesota high school sports league’s decision to allow male students who ‘identify’ as females to participate in girls’ sports has elicited concern from many parents and Christians.
On Thursday, the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors approved a controversial “transgender” student policy. Once the policy goes into effect next year, male high school students who “identify” as females will be allowed to participate in female-specific athletic programs.
“League member schools will now have some guidance from the Board on determining the eligibility of transgender male-to-female (MTF) students to participate in gender-specific athletic programs,” the Board of Directors explained in a written summary of their meeting last week.
The Minnesota State High School League, which has nearly 500 member schools, is responsible for overseeing high school athletics throughout Minnesota.
“Today’s action follows months of research, consultation with other state high school associations, meetings with the Minnesota School Boards Association, Minnesota Association of School Administrators, Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals and Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, and several public hearings,” the board added.
According to the new policy, only male students who have “a consistent gender identity” that is “different from the student’s gender identity assigned at birth” will be allowed to participate in girls’ sports. School officers will be responsible for deciding if male students fit the transgender policy’s specifications.
Proponents of transgender-friendly policies applauded the Minnesota State High School League’s decision.
“All students want is a safe place to just be who they are,” claimed Monica Meyer of OutFront Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. “That includes in the classroom, on the court or field.”
However, many parents and Christians are less optimistic about the new policy, saying it will likely lead to unsafe situations for girls on sports teams. Steve McConkey, president of 4 WINDS Christian Athletics, told Christian News Network that Minnesota’s transgender policy “will not end well.”
“In the past, Minnesota allowed girls to be on boys teams. Now, a boy can participate on the girls teams,” McConkey said. “Physically, men are stronger than women. This will not end well.”
McConkey said the transgender policy goes “against God’s principles.”
“If you oppose transgenders in sports, than you are labeled a bigot or hater,” he stated. “It is a way to minimize Christian beliefs. I do not know why they do what they are doing, but the Bible clearly says in the last days, there will be deception. The homosexual population is less than two percent in the USA, but their influence is increasing at a rapid rate. In Minnesota, only one of the twenty board members voted no. This is a sad commentary on our public schools.”
Though private religious schools are exempt from Minnesota’s new transgender policy, McConkey said not all Christians can afford to enroll their children in private schools.
“Everyone does not have an opportunity to afford a Christian school, so they will be forced to accept these school policies without question or move on,” he warned. “A divide has been created that will negatively impact Christian kids.”
Christians should continue proclaiming the truth, even in the face of opposition, McConkey said.
“We need to pray and stand up, respecting our opponents, but speaking the truth,” he concluded. “Parents need to educate their kids in the proper climate. This may increase home schooling and private schools may increase in numbers. These are tough times for parents, but God will give grace.”