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States advance bills protecting girls' sports, as Biden says not at federal level

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States across the country are taking the lead with a flurry of recent laws to keep biological males out of girls’ sports, while at the federal level President Biden’s White House has denounced measures such as “discrimination” against transgender students.

North Carolina on Tuesday moved one step closer to joining a growing number of states in banning transgender student athletes from playing on teams that align with their gender identity, instead allowing them to compete against people of the same biological sex. was needed.

The state Senate pushed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act out of its education committee, which would require athletes to play on teams that match their sex as determined by “reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

The North Carolina House is pursuing its own version of the same bill to allow transgender athletes to play on sports teams assigned to their sex. A similar measure introduced this month would bar the “male sex” from participating in “interscholastic athletic activities designated for women, ladies, or girls.”

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Republicans in both chambers now hold a veto-proof supermajority thanks to the recent high-profile defection of a Democratic lawmaker, meaning the bills could potentially become law even if Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper opposes them.

North Carolina is hardly alone. At least 21 states have now banned transgender athletes, primarily with the intention of protecting girls by prohibiting biological males who identify as female from competing against them. And several additional states may soon join that list or expand their restrictions.

The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would ban transgender athletes from participating in collegiate sports, extending the measure to 2021 in the state that applies to K-12 sports teams.

“Forcing women to compete against biological men would reverse decades of progress made by women for equal opportunity in athletics,” bill sponsor Susan DuBose told fellow lawmakers. “No amount of hormone therapy could undo Can’t” physical advantages.

The bill states that sports teams “shall not be open to a biological male designated for women, females or girls” and similarly a “biological female” will not be allowed to participate in teams for boys and men. The legislation now heads to the Alabama Senate, where it is likely to pass.

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A day earlier in Missouri, the state house passed its own version of a bill banning transgender athletes from competing according to their gender identity.

The Senate approved similar legislation last month. Each chamber’s bill extends through college athletics, including private universities in Missouri. However, while the House bill begins with grade six, the Senate version is applicable for any grade level.

Last week, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota signed a law banning transgender girls and women from joining women’s sports teams in K-12 and college. About a week ago, the Kansas Legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto banning transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports. And two weeks before that, “a uniform measure barring students of the male sex from competing on a team designated for students of the female sex” became law in Wyoming.

However, despite momentum at the state level, don’t expect the federal government to follow suit.

The White House vowed on Monday that President Biden would veto a Republican-backed bill that would bar biological males from participating in women’s sports if it passed both houses of Congress.

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Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., introduced the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, or HR 734, which is expected to be voted on in the House this week.

“The administration strongly opposes House passage of HR 734,” the White House said in a statement. “For students across the country, participating in sports and being part of a team is an important part of growing up, staying engaged in school, and learning leadership and life skills. Transgender students – even in elementary school As youth – playing on a team consistent with their gender identity.”

The White House statement continued, “Schools, coaches and athletic unions across the country are already working with families to develop participation rules that are fair and take into account the particular sport, grade level and level of competition.” keep.” “As a national ban that does not account for competitiveness or grade level, HR 734 targets people for who they are and is therefore discriminatory.”

Earlier this month, the Biden administration proposed a new rule that bars trans athletes from competing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

The proposal, which must undergo a period of public comment, would prohibit states or school districts from enacting one-size-fits-all policies that “explicitly” impose such restrictions. However, it leaves some room to limit the participation of transgender athletes in sport if it is deemed to undermine competitive fairness. The proposal also allows for restrictions related to “important educational purposes” such as reducing the risk of injury.

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Pro-trans and LGBTQ advocates argue that the administration’s rule is too restrictive and creates guidelines for schools to legally ban transgender athletes.

Beyond athletics, state lawmakers are pushing several bills affecting transgender individuals. In fact, this year alone legislators have introduced more than 400 such bills, dwarfing those in recent years. Many of these measures, especially those banning sex change procedures for children and the teaching of gender identity in the classroom, have triggered protests across the country.

In Montana, state Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr – the state’s first and only openly transgender legislator – said on Tuesday that there would be “blood on your hands” if a bill banning certain gender transition procedures on minors is approved by the Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, some lawsuits have been filed challenging state laws restricting the participation of transgender athletes.

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In Arizona, parents of two transgender girls filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a years-old state law banning trans girls from participating in school sports, arguing that the measure is psychologically damaging. is harmful to them and deprives them of equal treatment under the law.

The next day in Ohio, trans athletes and LGBTQ advocates spoke out against a House bill, the Save Women’s Sports Act, that would ban biological males from competing in women’s athletics.