Minnesota State High School League passes trans-inclusive policy

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has passed a policy that will allow transgender students to participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities. The policy, which will go into effect in the 2015-2016 academic year, reads thusly:

In accordance with applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations, the Minnesota State High School League allows participation for all students regardless of their gender identity or expression in an environment free from discrimination with an equal opportunity for participation in athletics and fine arts.

The policy goes on to describe an appeal process in which transgender students must follow to be eligible to participate in athletics. The policy passed with a vote of 18-1 in the MSHSL.

While the policy is not without issue, including requiring a trans student to get written confirmation from their parents to confirm their gender identity (which can present an issue for some cases) and gathering testimonials from individuals who know the student in order to "affirm that the actions, attitudes, dress and manner demonstrate the student’s consistent or sincerely held gender-related identification and expression."

This vote was supposed to occur in October, but was delayed for two months. Anti-LGBT activsts took out full page ads in Minnesota papers to oppose the policy, using false and misleading messages about transgender students. However, in the end, Minnesota joins 18 other states, plus the District of Columbia in affirming the particiaption of transgender students in high school athletics