A Minnesota Republican introduced a bill this week that would require transgender athletes to compete on the team corresponding with their biological sex, or else face criminal penalties.
State Rep. Eric Lucero introduced the bill on Thursday, arguing that the legislation is necessary to keep women’s sports safe.
The bill defines “male” as a person with a “heterogametic sex chromosome pair consisting of one X chromosome and one Y chromosome” and a female as a person with a two X chromosomes.
Only biological females would be able to compete with female sports teams, the bill states.
Trying out for—or playing with— sports team of the opposite sex would be considered a petty misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $300, according to the bill.
Lucero’s legislation would also require transgender students to use the restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities that correspond with their biological sex.
Refusing to do this would be considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Several states have introduced similar legislation, including Mississippi and Wisconsin.
Republicans in the Mississippi state Senate passed a bill last week that would ban transgender athletes from competing in girls’ or women’s sports at state schools and universities.
Nationally, a group of Connecticut high school female athletes are challenging a policy enforced by the public school system that allowed boys who identified as transgender to compete on girls’ sports teams.
The Trump administration signaled support for the federal case, but the Biden Justice Department withdrew its statement of interest last week, saying, “The government has reconsidered the matter.”
Alanna Smith, one of the Connecticut girls represented in the lawsuit, said she and the other plaintiffs were disappointed by the reversal.
“The transgender athletes have taken spots on the podium that belong to biological females,” she said. “We train for so many days a week, so many hours to be able to be the best in our state and the best in our region, and these biological males are just taking it away from us, and we really deserve it.”