State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) is making news once again.
Yellowhammer News last week reported that Rogers in a House committee meeting said that his favorite football player is “transgender.” Asked by Yellowhammer afterwards what player he was referring to, Rogers at the time responded that he was referencing Cam Newton but that he misspoke and meant “gay” rather than “transgender.”
These remarks came during a hearing on HB 35, known as the “Gender is Real Legislative” (GIRL) Act.
In a follow-up interview to Yellowhammer’s reporting with the website “Pluralist” published on Monday, Rogers shared some more interesting thoughts on the subject.
HB 35 would require Alabama public schools to make sure every entrant in an athletic competition is sorted by the gender on their birth certificate. The bill also forbids any state, county or municipal government/agency from providing a facility to a single-gender competition that allows a transgender entrant. The GIRL Act exempts any event that is specifically designed to have both boys and girls as competitors.
In his interview with Pluralist, Rogers reportedly once again asserted that “a lot of people in the NFL have accused Cam Newton and other players of being [transgender].”
However, he did clarify that he himself did not know Newton to be transgender or gay; Rogers stated that he was simply trying to state that others believe this to be the case.
“I brought him up because there are a lot of insinuations about a lot of people who play athletics, whether they are transgender or not, and you never know,” Rogers reportedly told Pluralist. “Why would you point at someone if you don’t know and no test has been done?”
According to the publication, it subsequently became clear that Rogers seemed to be at least somewhat confusing being “transgender” with “intersexuality,” which is more colloquially understood as being a “hermaphrodite.”
“When you’re born, sometimes people are born a hermaphrodite,” Rogers remarked. “They’re born as a boy but they have other chromosomes of a girl, or they’re born as a girl but they have other chromosomes of a boy. Sometimes, the gender doesn’t take effect until later in life. That’s science. It’s x and y chromosomes.”
While reportedly decrying that “hermaphrodites” would be singled out under HB 35, Rogers then suggested a solution that would actually go further than the original legislation, which would rely on each student-athlete’s respective birth certificate for gender identification and eligibility purposes.
Rogers reportedly advocated that Alabama public school student-athletes be mandated to undergo genetic testing that would then be utilized to sort them for eligibility purposes.
“You need to get medical proof of what they really are: a boy or a girl. They need to have more x chromosomes than y chromosomes, which gender is prominent,” Rogers said. “Go with the test. Go with the biology.”
He added, “If a person ends up being male, they can compete as male, and if they end up being a female, they can compete as female.”
People around the state — and the country — may remember Rogers for his “kill ’em now or kill ’em later” comments made last year during debate of Alabama’s abortion ban legislation.
However, Rogers took a hardline conservative stance last week in advocating for an automatic death penalty without any appeals for convicted cop killers. No matter which ideological side of an issue Rogers finds himself aligned with, he seems to be making a splash whenever paired with a microphone.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn