Coastal czars overstep power in surf contest – Orange County Register

The best way to handle contentious cultural battles in our diverse and politically divided country is to let private actors sort things out on their own. Whenever government inserts itself into these debates, it leads only to bitterness and anger.

One of the latest debates involves transgender athletes. Should they compete with athletes from their same biological sex or with athletes from the gender with which they identify? We have our own views, but that’s not of consequence. What matters is who decides. The latest fracas involves a surfing competition last Saturday in Huntington Beach called Longboard Pro.

An Australian transgendered surfer expressed intentions to compete in the women’s category. The organizer said in a social-media post that he supports people competing in the categories reflecting the biological sex to which they were born – but also said the competition’s standards would reflect the International Surfing Association’s standards (based on testosterone levels).

There was back and forth about whether the surfer filled out the required paperwork, but the bottom line is the surfer’s group should decide its rules. It’s not a clear-cut issue of discrimination given biological males enjoy physical advantages over biological females. But then the California Coastal Commission, which oversees issues related to beach access and coastal development, got involved.

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