Several states around the country have passed laws banning transgender athletes from competing in sports outside of their biological sex, while others are in the process of passing laws to do so. Here are the latest updates.
June 3, 2022
At nearly midnight on Thursday, Ohio GOP lawmakers passed HB61 in an attempt to ban transgender girls and women from playing sports in high school and college.
However, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine stated that he thinks these decisions should be made by athletic associations instead of the government. So, the Senate blocked the bill, sending it back to the House. The Legislature will not meet again until November, News 5 Cleveland stated.
Details: If it is suspected that someone on a high school or college sports team is transgender, by this law they must go through an evaluation of internal and external genitalia, and testosterone and genetic makeup evaluations, per News 5.
- There is currently only one transgender girl in the state participating in high school athletics, and there have been fewer than 20 in the past decade.
What they’re saying: “I am passionate about this issue because we can not allow girls’ dreams of being a gold medal athlete to be crushed by biological males stealing their opportunity,” said Republican Rep. Jena Powell, via the Ohio Capital Journal. “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.”
- Republican Rep. Beth Liston called the bill “disturbing,” saying, “There are not scores of girls’ dreams being crushed, there is one child trying to play on their high school sports team,” according to News 5.
- “I struggle to understand why we keep discussing bills focusing on children’s genitals,” Liston said.
May 19, 2022
South Carolina is the latest state to pass a transgender sports ban. Gov. Henry McMaster signed South Carolina House Bill 4608 into law this week.
- The law, titled the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” requires students to participate in sports based on the biological sex listed on their birth certificate.
March 25, 2022
The Utah Legislature voted to override Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto of the transgender sports ban bill, banning transgender girls from participating in female school sports, the Deseret News’ Katie McKellar writes.
- The Republican-controlled House voted 56-18 to override Cox’s veto.
- The Senate then voted 21-8 to give final approval to the override.
The backdrop: Utah isn’t the only state in the country to add such a ban, though. In fact, states across the country — several of which have Republican leaders — have added these bans in recent years.
The full list
The following is a list of states that have a state law that bans transgender students from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia (this ban was blocked by a federal court).
What to watch: Some states have already passed legislation that has not become law yet that would ban transgender youths from participating in girls sports, while other states passed bills that were later vetoed.