JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
State Rep. Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport) proposed an amendment that would allow school districts to hold votes to prohibit transgender girls from playing on girls' sports teams.
The Missouri House approved the amendment after it was attached to an unrelated elections bill.
Basye's amendment states that "no public schools shall knowingly allow a student of the male sex, who is enrolled in such public school, to participate in the school-sponsored athletic team that's exclusively for the student of the female sex."
Basye went on to define that in terms of this amendment sex is defined as biological sex.
"Based solely on the individuals' reproductive biology and genetics at birth," Basye said on the House floor.
Basye told ABC 17 News that the goal of his amendment is for schools "to put on the ballot in their local district, to make a decision on whether or not a school-sponsored sporting that event that is designed solely for members of the female sex that they would allow or not allow transgenders to play on that sports team."
Rep. Ian Mackey (D-St. Louis) passionately argued with Basye on the House floor.
Mackey said that this is the only issue that he takes personally and that the politicians can agree to disagree and still move forward "unless... the root of our disagreement is in my right to exist, and that's what you're doing with this legislation. We can't move past that."
Rep. Peggy McGaugh, R-Carrollton, is the original bill's sponsor and said that she never thought this amendment would be attached to her bill.
In a statement, McGaugh says, "The amendment offered by Representative Bayse was one offered during debate that I had no previous knowledge of."
"Information I received during and after the three hour debate gave me a better understanding that there are House Bills that the Representative is seeking that are germane to his offered amendment subject," said McGaugh. Both Basye and McGaugh said that it is common practice to attach bills to other amendments when another bill is further through the process.
Basye said "Sometimes when you have a bill that's stuck in the committee or in the process... if there's a like bill that it might fit on, that's just a method that we use to get something done."
McGaugh's bill was approved, along with Basye's amendment, which passed with an 89-40 vote.