Transgender athlete ban a top priority for Ohio Republicans

Ohio House Republicans renewed efforts Wednesday to enact the 'Save Women's Sports Act' to ban transgender girls from playing girls sports.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:04 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio Republicans renewed their push to enact a transgender athlete ban. They’re confident they can get the Save Women in Sports Act across the finish line after failing multiple times in recent years.

Republicans hosted their first hearing on the bill Wednesday intentionally on International Women’s Day. They say it’s all about protecting the integrity of girls sports in Ohio. 18 states have enacted similar legislation.

H.B. 6 in this new legislature would designate separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex. It also allows students who feel like they’re harmed or deprived of an opportunity by a trans athlete to sue for damages.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association says its transgender athlete policy already protects the integrity of games. OHSAA says there are six transgender athletes approved for this school year but Republicans still say this is a top priority.

“At the end of the day, a lot of these athletes don’t have the opportunity to say ‘I don’t want to compete against a biological male.’ That is the outcry of female athletes around this state and around the nation,” said Republican Rep. Jena Powell of Arcanum.

This has passed the Ohio House and Senate separately before, with previous versions requiring genital exams or birth certificates upon request. That language isn’t in this version of the bill.

The ACLU of Ohio called the bill extreme government overreach and state-sponsored bullying of trans girls and women. Other LGBTQIA+ groups, including Equality Toledo, have voiced their opposition to the bill in recent weeks.

Governor Mike DeWine has previously said he thinks this issue should be left up to leagues and athletic associations, though he hasn’t commented on this version of the legislation.

You can watch the Action News Now extended report in the video below.

Ohio Republicans renew "Save Women in Sports Act."

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