More than 30 states have introduced bills that would restrict transgender youth from access to girls’ sports.
Governors in Idaho, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and West Virginia have already signed bills outlawing transgender students from competing in girls’ sports teams in public schools.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) recently issued a similar executive order.
And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) promises to sign a measure into law in the Sunshine state.
“Oh yeah, we’re gonna protect our girls,” DeSantis told Fox News. “We have a 4-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old daughter and they’re both very athletic. And we want to have opportunities for our girls. They deserve an even playing field.”
Earlier this year, the Biden administration altered women’s rights with an executive order prioritizing transgender rights by opening public school bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports to all students regardless of their biological sex.
Beth Stelzer of Save Women’s Sports is applauding the wave of Republican-led legislation.
“I think it’s an amazing thing,” Stelzer told CBN News. “What more can we do as women to protect our rights, and men and women non-partisan alike we can all see this is just a common-sense issue. It’s a really good thing.”
Recent comments from Olympic gold medalist and California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner, who is transgender, are bringing more attention to the issue, fueling the debate.
“This is a question of fairness,” Jenner told TMZ. “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sport in our schools.”
On the other side, hundreds of people recently marched in Asheville, North Carolina in protest against proposed legislation barring trans girls from competing in female sports.
“As a parent of a trans child, I’m scared for them,” said Julia Holladay.
Some accuse Jenner of playing politics, pointing out previous statements. “I think it’s totally fair,” Jenner once told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. “If the Olympic committee thinks it’s fair, I’m fine with it yes. There’s no real big advantage.”
Stelzer argues that is not true.
“When we allow males to compete in female sports it is the end of female sports,” she explained. “We already have males that hold female records. That’s why the record seems unattainable is because it was set by a male.”
She added, “It won’t be long before, for example, college recruiters and coaches they’re gonna see that ‘oh that team has a male on it and that’s what gives them the advantage. I’m gonna get a couple more males.’ It won’t be long, and we’ll have all-male female sports.”
LGBTQ advocates say the data doesn’t support that. “There is negligible difference when a trans girls and trans women go through the proper medical process,” said trans activist Charlotte Clymber.
But track athlete Selina Soule and other women athletes in Connecticut disagree. In the last two years, two trans athletes have taken 15 Connecticut state championship titles while competing in women’s events.