The Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) decided not to take up a vote last week to adopt a bylaw change that would have limited girls’ sports and teams to biological females. Hundreds of Alaskans emailed, signed a petition, and called in to testify in support of protecting girls’ sports to preserve the original intent of Title IX, that girls and women have fair and safe opportunities and competitions in sports. Opposition turned out in large numbers by phone, however, with more individuals verbally speaking against the measure than for it during the public testimony.

Two members of the Anchorage Assembly, Chris Constant and Alex Rivera, wrote a letter to ASAA which included a warning of litigation and the threat of the Anchorage School District pulling out of ASAA altogether.

Allow me to state very clearly that I applaud all the men and women who have stood up to support and protect girls’ sports. Please know that I am by no means a male-basher but when two biological males, such as Constant and Rivera, threaten ASAA if it doesn’t allow biological males on girls’ teams and in their locker rooms, showers, and sleeping spaces when traveling — it does NOT sit well with me.

…this issue in the court, field, track, pool, etc. cannot help but spill over to locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms…

Males who are okay with discriminating against women? Males who are okay with robbing girls of their rights, their athletic opportunities, their dignity in private spaces? Excuse me, this is not okay.

And for those who disagree with me, I am not transphobic; I care for and value every student unconditionally. (One more quick note: trying to address mental health issues for a small group of youth through a policy that is unfair and unsafe for girls not only does not solve the depression and suicide issue for the small group, but it also exacerbates the already alarming upward trend of depression and suicide prevalent in the entire teenage female group.)

And because this issue in the court, field, track, pool, etc. cannot help but spill over to locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms, I have had women reach out to me in recent months, women who are survivors of sexual assault. They want a clear line in the sand. They do not want biological males in their private spaces. Just the fact that this is a present issue in our society – the mere fact alone – is creating anxiety and trauma for survivors. Imagine the increased level of anxiety and trauma they will experience when a man walks into their private space. The sooner we settle this issue, the better.

Unfortunately, it looks like it won’t be soon though as far as the ASAA board in concerned. Ultimately, the ASAA board decided not to take up the vote and punted the issue back to the Alaska State Board of Education to consider clarifying the governing regulations.

I’m quite certain ASAA’s reason was to strengthen the legal footing for the bylaw change. Currently the regulations grant authority to ASAA to administer their program economically, effectively, and fairly but do not, for instance, define anything specifically regarding “fairness” and what criteria might constitute fairness.

The Alaska State Board of Education’s next meeting is June 7-8, 2023, in Kenai. The agenda has not been released.

Click here to read my prepared testimony for last Monday to ASAA supporting the bylaw change.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

OPINION: What’s next in the ongoing battle to protect girls’ sports in Alaska

Shelley Hughes
Shelley Hughes serves as an Alaska state senator from Palmer.


  • StopTheMadnesz says:

    Constant and Rivera believe they know what’s best for everyone: what type of therapy youth should receive, what type of speech should be allowed at Assembly meetings, which classifications of persons are not worth protecting, etc. Do either of these two men have children of their own? From whence do they derive their authoritative wisdom? On whose behalf do they speak?

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Your useless hughes just like dunleavy

    • Mboll says:

      Really Dave, wow! now that’s a way to get something accomplished. A real stand up man you are. Calling someone else useless (a female non the less that fights for other female rights) from your keyboard because you do not agree with their actions as a politician does not make you the man you think you are.

      • DaveMaxwell says:

        By your name it’s hard to figure out what you are? Mboll perhaps I’m guessing is the name you hide behind while confronting others from your key board? Hughes has a reputation now. Me and many other people I know have an opinion of her that we believe is accurate. Effective, courageous, fight when it counts, and last but not least a public servant! None of these qualities have we seen in her! She is not up to the task in front of her! Neither is Rauscher , and certainly not dunleavy! If you have a problem with my opinion, tough! You can embrace mediocrity and ride off into the sunset!

    • Tamra Nygaard says:

      You seem nice. /s

  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    This issue wouldn’t be an issue if our schools would actually teach our kids anything instead of forcing this woke crap and the LGBTQ+ agenda on them. Enough of this crap. Our kids are at the bottom of the scoreboard and our school administrators say they need $500 million more to teach them. That’s the biggest line of crap I’ve ever heard.. For the last ten (10) years we gave and gave but our kids are still at the bottom. It’s time school administrators start teaching our kids and drop the woke crap and LGBTQ+ show. We want kids that know something. I can’t even get proper change when I got to a fast food place. They don’t know how to count or make change.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    ASAA board is afraid they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, especially these sick men who think they’re a women.
    Remember God made Man and Women, not twenty different types of genders.

  • Joe Drayton says:

    Boycott is a solution. When the girl’s basketball team is scheduled to play a team that has males, refuse to play against them. Do not forfeit the game, show up, but refuse to play. Unless the opponent benches the “want to be female.”
    Knowing that the opposition has a male “ringer” on the team. Bring some male ringer’s of your own.
    Making the game a Co-Ed game.
    As a side bar there are coaches that love having a male on the female team. Anything to win, even if it means destroying the potential of women.
    As far as the two homesexual Anchorage assembly men pulling Anchorage out of Statewide Athletics, please do.
    It will be fun watching that go down. The optics of that is priceless.
    This issue is the single most important topic in the 2024 election. If America cannot agree on what is a female or a male, nothing else really matters.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    I agree about drawing a line in the sand. As one young female athlete had asked if anyone asked the females’ opinions or thoughts on this topic? NO! Women and young ladies should not be forced to accept these mentally ill or sexually deranged boys or men in sports, lockerrooms, bathrooms, and anywhere else these guys think they should have rights to be. Anchorage Assembly is a joke. Anchorage has become a joke. Fairbanks has become a joke.

  • ML, just common sense says:

    Finally, a voice of reason. Thank you Friend of Humanity, I could not have stated it any better. We live in a country that thrives on grey areas where there are none. Those of proper wit know that there are only Male and female, other than that you’re in need of mental health counseling. Anchorage will be our doom, these southern Californian, Seattle, and Portland transplants are rapidly spreading their poison in Alaska. In addition, I was shocked and amazed how little press was given to the fact that our Democrat Congresswoman, closed ranks with her fellow misguided souls and voted against a bill that would have kept pretend women out of biological female sports as clearly outlined in Title IX. No provisions for pretend women. I even called the local TV station about it and they obviously felt it wasn’t newsworthy. Thinking I suppose that Alaskans don’t need to know how their so called representatives vote.

  • Mitch says:

    I wonder if Sen. Hughes can spell out precisely why she hates the trans women, why she is so opposed to allowing these people to participate in sports, and lastly, just how many kids is she campaigning against. One, two, three or more? Is this really problem? Maybe she should be concentrating on the states budget dilemma.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Mitch, where does Senator Hughes state that she hates trans people? Can you please provide a link to the documentation of this? Does your documentation also show proof that Senator Hughes is campaigning against “kids?” Please provide a link to your documentation. I hope that the budget gets cut to save taxpayers money!

    • StopTheMadnesz says:

      Let “trans women” compete against “trans women,” then. Let unicorns compete against unicorns. Let boys compete against boys. Let girls compete against girls. Let toadstool mushrooms compete against toadstool mushrooms. But let’s not drug any of the above, chop off their body parts and then claim that a toadstool mushroom really is whatever he feels like he is, so he should be able to do whatever he wants.

      Unless, of course, you actually want to live in a world where the Emperor consistently wears no clothes and you’re ready, willing, and able to go Antifa on all the hateful bigot Emperorphobes who would kindly suggest he find pack of Hanes or Fruit of the Loom.