AUGUSTA — Civil rights groups in Maine are fighting a proposal by a group of Republicans to ban transgender youths from school sports.

The proposal by Rep. Beth O’Connor of Berwick says that it is designed to “ban biological males from participating in women’s sports.” O’Connor submitted the bill to the Maine Legislature on Monday.

The proposal says that students who disagree with the ruling can dispute it with a signed statement from a physician that states they are female based on their reproductive anatomy, their “naturally occurring level of testosterone” or a chromosomal analysis.

Numerous civil rights group swiftly slammed the proposal. EqualityMaine described the proposal as “anti-trans legislation,” and it and other groups vowed to defeat the bill. A coalition of groups including the Maine Women’s Lobby issued a joint statement that the proposal “is not in keeping with the values of youth sports” and is discriminatory.

The proposal would face action in the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee before the Maine Legislature would vote on it. The Legislature is controlled by Democrats and the proposal has no Democratic sponsors or co-sponsors.

New Hampshire is considering a similar proposal. Transgender youths, their family members and allies testified against it on Tuesday.

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