COLUMBUS, Ohio — Republican lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would ban transgender females from competing in Ohio high school and college girls and women's sports.
The legislation introduced Wednesday would designate male and female sports teams be based upon the biological sex of an individual, meaning that biological males cannot play on female teams. It would apply to all public schools and colleges and any private schools or colleges that are members of a state or national athletic association.
The Save Women's Sports Act was announced by Representatives Jena Powell and Reggie Stoltzfus.
“The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women,” said Powell in a staement. “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. We want every little girl to achieve her athletic dream here in the state of Ohio.”
According to Powell, the bill also creates a process to resolve any disputes over a student’s sex and 'respectfully accommodates those who have an intersex condition or disorder of sexual development to demonstrate they are, in fact, a female.'
The legislation would also protect a school or college who preserve women-only teams from being punished by a government entity under a state or local non-discrimination law. Additionally, the bill allows any student a private right of action who may be deprived of an athletic opportunity or is harmed by a school or college that violates this act and protects the student from any retaliatory actions taken by any school.
“It is not my desire to hurt anyone or punish those who may be affected by this legislation in some way, but to protect fair competition,” Stoltzfus added at the press conference. “I seek to treat all people with dignity and respect by promoting a level playing field in Ohio’s inter-scholastic athletics.”
The bill comes as three high school girl runners in Connecticut are suing to block a policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in girls' sports.