Ways and Means Committee Dismisses Fairness In Girls' Sports Bill 47
On January 31, 2024, the State of Maryland proclaimed girls' sports dead in the state. With the "unfavorable" finding after overwhelming testimony FOR House Bill 47, the committee ruled in favor of unsafe and unfair competition of male athletes against female athletes in high school sports.
Kathy Szeliga's Statement on the bill:
Chairman Vanessa Atterbeary, Howard County, who started the hearing talking about her three children as an indicator that she somehow cared about girls in sports, seemed content to send female athletes back to pre-Title IX days as she dismissively and arrogantly addressed those pleading for fair opportunities for girls in athletics, telling the bill sponsor, Kathy Szeliga, not to "bring the bill back again next year." This is the second year Szeliga has tried to get the bill passed.
I wonder if Maryland's Chapter of the National Organization of Women Political Action Committee, a big Atterbeary endorser listed on her web page, know her prejudice against female athletes.
The testimony FOR the bill was almost two to one over those against, but organizations such as PFLAG and GLSEN as well as a couple of parents with trans children ended the testimony, making outlandish comments that actually caused those in the crowd to gasp. One person who identified as "non-binary" said the bill would tell binary and trans people that they "do not exist in society."
Actually, the bill provided opportunities for binary and trans people to compete on teams that are not designated strictly for boys or girls.
Atterbeary, delegate from Howard County, is not new to attempting to impose her will through her committee. Last year, her committee considered HB 119 which would force local school systems to teach the State's Health Curriculum which included several units on human sexuality. These units contained information on how to have anal, oral and vaginal sex for students as young as ten. She, working with the then Superintendent of Schools Muhammed Choudhury, wanted to take funding away from school systems that did not comply. The outcry from many counties and education organizations scuttled the bill, but not before Atterbeary showed a vindictive side and resubmitted the bill to be applied to ALL content areas. The bill was eventually killed. Choudhury, who ruffled feathers with his demeaning approach to legislators, left the Superintendency in the Fall of 2023.
She will be resubmitting a version of this bill this year. I guess it's okay for her to resubmit bills, just no one else.
One wonders if Atterbeary's ego is bruised from her attempt and then withdrawal from the Congressional election in her district to replace Paul Sarbanes. Has this caused her bitter attitude about those who disagree with her?
In the article, she is quoted about her withdrawal:
“I have held this position for two sessions; and, have accomplished a great deal,” she wrote. “What I have come to realize over the past several weeks is that there is much more work for me to do in this capacity.”
(Translation: I realized I wouldn't win.)
“Fighting for those who don’t have a voice has been the center of my work in Annapolis since I was first elected in 2014,” she wrote in a text. “I have been fortunate to pass legislation that actually effectuates real change.”
I guess "those who don't have a voice" don't include girls who want to compete fairly and safely in sports.