The House of Representatives in Arizona want to ban transgender female athletes from playing in school sports in a new bill.
A new bill called “Save Women’s Sports Act” will ban transgender female athletes from participating in school sports if signed into law. The legislation was proposed by Republican Rep. Nancy Barto and would force interscholastic and intramural sports, sponsored by educational institutions, to explicitly designate sports for males or females based on a persons’ biological sex, ABC News. “This bill is about fairness. That’s it. What is fair on the field, the court, the track, and in the pool,” Barto said in a statement to ABC News.
If a student disagrees, the student may establish their “sex by presenting a signed physician’s statement that indicates the student’s sex” and an analysis of the student’s DNA, House Bill 2706 states. The bill was first introduced in the House on Feb. 3, just a month after hours of debating the topic. Barto said the decision was based on the biological makeup of each sex, including lung capacity, muscle mass and testosterone levels, which she said gives men “an undeniable physical advantage over women in sports.”
“That is why we have separated male and female sports. And that is why women have been so successful in achieving greatness on the field, and all the benefits that go with it,” Barto continued. “What has changed is Interscholastic policies allowing biological males identifying as females to compete on women’s teams.” K-12, community colleges, and universities would have to comply with the bill.
While many feel the bill is about making sure there is no advantage given to any particular group, others feel there is a lack of concern for the LGBTQ community. During the hearing, Democratic Rep. Kirsten Engel said, “The impact will not be to protect women’s sports, instead it’s gonna make women’s sports a total battleground of lawsuits. It’s gonna bring people out of the corners of the field to cast accusations — the liability here is so broad that I have very severe concerns that some schools will find some excuse to — simply not have games,” she added.
However, the bill does include language that would allow a student to take legal action if offended by the laws, “Any student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers a direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this section has a private cause of action for injunctive relief, damages and any other relief available under law against the educational institution,” the bill states.