A Senate bill that is meant to protect female athletics from being taken over by biological male athletes has been stuck in a committee chaired by Republican Sen. Roger Holland.
Bill sponsor Sen. Shelley Hughes is not happy about having her bill stalled for three weeks, and she’s hearing from women across Alaska who agree with her.
Holland says the bill has constitutional problems, won’t stand a court test, and wants portions changed that would allow transgenders to compete against girls or women if they pass certain conditions. He says the bill came too late to his committee and that Hughes didn’t communicate to him that it was a priority. In emails to constituents, he has disparaged Hughes. Other men in the Senate, such as Democrat Sen. Tom Begich, want the bill killed altogether. It appears that Holland is digging in his feet upon the advice of Democrats who say the bill will not move in the House.
Anchorage Republican Women’s Club President Judy Eledge says the bill is a priority for her members and she has sent around action alerts to her members to get in touch with Holland.
“As the President of Anchorage Republican Women my organization of 150+ women want you to know that we strongly support SB140. What is happening to young women today is one of the most sexist things I have ever seen. Women have fought for years first to vote, get equal pay, and then Title IX treating them equally in schools and athletics, I know several of you have daughters or granddaughters. How would you feel if that daughter of yours worked all through high school to become a great athlete in competitive sports and when the state championships in that sport happened some 6 foot male, who had recently decided he wanted to compete with women, decided to compete against your daughter or granddaughter?” Eledge wrote. She said the takeover of women’s sports by transgenders is “a nationwide agenda to put women ‘back’ in their place” by men.
“We encourage you to Stand UP and fight for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and young friends who are silently crying in the locker room because once again they have to fight for equality. This is NOT equality, this is a political agenda to destroy what we all know is truth,
I can’t imagine a more important bill for our future as a nation,” Eledge wrote.
Also championing the bill is Alaska Family Council and Bernadette Wilson, who is the state director for Americans for Prosperity, but who was speaking on behalf of herself as a mother:
“My point to him is it is time to stand up and take a stand, regardless of what we think is going to pass with the Democrats in the other body. It’s not his job to worry about what is going to pass in the House. It’s his job to fight for good public policy,” Wilson said. “This legislation has stood the test of time in other states.”
Political observers say that former Sen. Cathy Giessel, who lost to Holland in 2020, will seize upon this issue, side with Sen. Hughes, other women legislators, and the majority of Alaska women, and will roll Holland in the coming election in November.
Holland did not respond to a request for an interview.