COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)- On Wednesday, Ohio lawmakers delivered sponsor testimony on House Bill 61, also known as the “Save Women’s Sports Act.” The bill mirrors legislation introduced across the country. It would limit trans-women from competing in women’s sports.
“We want every little girl to be able to compete on a level playing field and when biological males compete in female-only sports it robs females of athletic opportunities,” said Rep. Jena Powell, (R) Arcanum.
Rep. Powell, who is a sponsor of House Bill 61, said there have not been any issues of trans-women taking opportunities from female athletes in Ohio, and she wants to get ahead of the issue.
“We are seeing it come to the state of Ohio, so we want to address this issue before many girls are robbed of athletic opportunities,” said Rep. Powell.
“I have been calling it the no trans-girls allowed act because it doesn’t actually protect women sports, it doesn’t protect women, it doesn’t protect girls, it really just segregates trans-people from cis-gender people,” said James Knapp, Chair of TransOhio.
TransOhio said the bill causes more problems than it attempts to fix. He said for years trans-women have been competing in Ohio and it’s never been a problem.
The bill says, “Interscholastic and intercollegiate male participants are prohibited from participating on athletic teams or in athletic competitions designated only for female participants.” The bill also opens the door for people to take civil action against a school that knowingly allows a trans-woman to compete in women’s sports.
“There is a physiological and biological difference between males and females. Males are born with larger hearts, larger lung capacity, stronger tendons, and muscles,” said Rep. Powell.
“The current regulations by the NCAA and the IOC don’t allow men to compete on women’s teams, and because trans-women are women, they are allowed to compete on women’s teams,” said Timothy Bussey, associate director of Kenyon College’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Right now, a similar bill, Senate Bill 132 in the Ohio Senate has been introduced.