Ohio lawmakers propose banning transgender athletes from girls and women’s sports

Ohio Statehouse Newsroom

FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2019, file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. Miller and Yearwood are among Connecticut transgender athletes who would be blocked from participating in girls sports under a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, by the families of three athletes. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two Ohio lawmakers announced Tuesday that they plan to introduce legislation to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls and women’s sports.

The ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ was announced by State Representatives Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) and Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp.).

According to Powell and Stoltzfus, the bill would designate male and female sports teams be based upon the biological sex of an individual. That means people assigned male at birth would not be allowed to play on a female team.

The legislation would apply to all public schools and colleges and any private schools or colleges that are members of a state or national athletic association.

“The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women,” said Powell. “This bill ensures that every little girl who works hard to make it on a podium is not robbed of her chance by a biological male competing against her in a biological female sport. We want every little girl to achieve her athletic dream here in the state of Ohio.”

In a press release, Powell referred to an example in the state of Connecticut where two transgender athletes won a total of 15 state championship track and field races since 2017.

A lawsuit filed in that state seeks to block transgender athletes from participating in girls sports.

Currently, OHSAA policy says the following about transgender females participating in sports:

A transgender female who is taking medically prescribed hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate on a boys’ team at any time. However, before a transgender female can participate in a girl’s sport or on a girls’ team she must either (1) have completed a minimum of one year of hormone treatment related to gender transition or (2) demonstrate to the Executive Director’s Office by way of sound medical evidence that she does not possess physical (bone structure, muscle mass, testosterone, hormonal, etc.) or physiological advantages over genetic females of the same age group.

Equality Ohio issued a statement Tuesday opposing the legislation.

It’s important that we affirm the importance of girl’s sports while making sure that all of our children can take advantage of the opportunities that school sports offer. It is wrong to single out transgender students for bullying or discrimination.

Equality Ohio

Other opponents of the legislation, like former sports reporter Taylor Ashbrook, call the legislation another attempt to ‘erase trans youth from our community.”

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