As Florida’s governor singed into law Tuesday a bill that bans transgender girls – biological boys – from competing in girl’s sports, Republican lawmakers in Ohio reintroduced a bill that would do the same.
The Save Women’s Sports Act was reintroduced by Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum), and co-sponsored by Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Township), who first introduced the bill during Ohio’s shortened legislative session last year.
A total of 14 Ohio Republicans have signed onto the resurrected version of the legislation, which had only 10 cosponsors the first time it was introduced.
Much like lawmakers in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, and the 35 other states where legislation to ban transgender women and girls from women’s and girl’s sports, the Republican lawmakers argue that biology gives transgender girls an unfair advantage against biological girls.
“It is unfair for a biological male to compete against a female in female-only sports. So that’s what the bill is and that’s what it’s all about,” Powell said.
In response, the political left says bigotry is the reason for the legislation.
“It is absolutely 100% about trying to further marginalize transgender youth, make their lives harder, push them even more to the edges and push them out of public life and public conversation,” Cathryn Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-LGBT group said.
Aside from that, the political left claims that instances of transgender girls beating biological girls in athletic competition is rare in Ohio, and nationwide.
Powell didn’t buy that argument.
“Legislators don’t wait until bad things happen. We are proactive in our legislation to ensure that every little girl in our state can achieve their American dream,” she said. “And that’s exactly what the Save Women’s Sports Act does.”
In one high-profile case, three female track runners in Connecticut sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which allowed transgender girls to compete in girls sports, after the female track runners lost to the transgender track runners.
That lawsuit was dismissed on procedural grounds in February.
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