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Ohio News

Lawmakers Propose Ban On Trans Athletes In Girls', Women's Sports

Reps. Reggie Stoltzfus (Paris Township) and Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) speak at the press conference announcing their planned legislation.
Reps. Reggie Stoltzfus (Paris Township) and Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) speak at the press conference announcing their planned legislation.

Two Republican lawmakers say they’re working on a bill that would support girls’ and women’s sports, by banning transgender girls and women from competing on female teams in high schools and colleges.

Reps. Reggie Stoltzfus (Paris Township) and Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) never say the Save Women’s Sports Act is about trans women and girls. They say it will ban people who are born male from joining female-only school teams, which according to policy set by the Ohio High School Athletic Association they can do now if they’ve been on hormone therapy for at least a year.

Powell said it’s about the integrity of women’s sports and the dreams of female athletes who are pursuing a win, a scholarship or a career.

“That opportunity is being ripped away from them by biological males competing in their sport," Powell said.

Powell said it's unfair for "biological males" to compete in girls' and women's sports, because they have physiological advantages in strength and performance. 

At least four other states are considering similar legislation.

A board member for the group TransOhio said in a statement: “This legislation is yet another harmful attempt to erase transgender people from public life, this time by targeting children who just want to participate in the sports they love while being their authentic selves. Letting transgender children play sports harms no one, but prohibiting it means legislators are ripping away access to fun, developmental, cooperative childhood experiences that young athletes should be able to learn from and enjoy. We all lose when we prevent trans kids from being themselves and having a childhood—it’s completely against the ethos of athletics.”

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau