New Jersey Schools Will Not Require Medical Proof for Transgender Student Athletes to Compete

AP Ted S. Rainbow Flag
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The association that governs school athletics in New Jersey says it will not require a doctor’s note, or any other type of proof, to allow transgender students to compete against students competing within their assigned gender at birth.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has decided it will require no proof that a student who claims to be transgender is undergoing a doctor’s care, or that they are beginning any drug therapies or surgical procedures to be certified as “transgender.” The new policy maintains that all such students will need to do is make the claim they feel like being a different gender and it will be accepted at face value, according to the Christian Post.

The policy statement released this week defines a transgender student as “a student whose gender identity differs from the student’s sex assigned at birth” and notes such students “shall be eligible to participate with either their birth sex or in accordance with their gender identity, but not both.”

The policy also allows that a student who once claimed to be transgender can reverse their transgender claim and go back to competing with students in their birth gender.

But, nowhere in the policy statement does it require any proof from a student’s medical provider that the student is undergoing any care to transition from one gender to another.

Additionally, the policy allows students to use banned substances if they are required for hormone therapy. And while the policy states that a medical review officer may consider the use of the banned drugs, it still does not maintain that a student’s medical providers must prove the need for such drugs nor does the policy lay out a process for the medical review officer to make a decision.

NJSIAA attorney Steve Goodell told the media that the policy was released after prodding from LGBT activists.

“The last year or so we’ve gotten some requests from the transgender community to make some tweaks,” Goodell said. “They didn’t like the idea of someone having to prove the transgender status. They really made a convincing case that this is not something the students are making up to try to game the system.”

But, the Christian Post notes that in a June column, Heather Zeiger was skeptical of these sort of policies and worried that girls would be eliminated from female sports if men claiming to be women begin competing as females.

“Women will, in effect, be pushed out of competition because they were born with female bodies,” Zeiger wrote. “Does that make any sense? As Jeff Jacobs asks in his thoughtful article in the Hartford Courant, ‘What do we tell these girls? A transgender’s journey is more important than your journey?'”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.