Alabama Legislature Passes Bill Banning Biological Males From Women's Sports

AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File

In Alabama Thursday, the legislature made a major move amid the ongoing argument over transgender athletics.

Lawmakers passed HB391, which bans males from competing in female sports.

The bill covers grades K-12 in all public schools.

Here’s a bit of official verbiage:

Relating to public K-12 schools; to provide that no public K-12 school may participate in, sponsor, or provide coaching staff for interscholastic athletic events at which athletes are allowed to participate in competition against athletes who are of a different biological gender, unless the event specifically includes both biological genders.

As reported by The Associated Press, it previously passed in the House, 76-3.

Thursday saw a win by 25-5.

The state’s legislature, you may have guessed, is robustly Republican.

Governor Kay Ivey’s a member, too, but she hasn’t let on whether she’ll sign off.

During debate, Sen. Garlan Gudger promoted protection:

“I believe that this bill is important, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, to protect the integrity of women’s athletics.”

The legislator fancies fairness:

“I think it is an unfair for biological males to compete and beat females in high school sports. There are biological advantages that men possess just naturally because of genetics.”

Of course, not everyone’s got Garlan’s gusto.

From the AP:

Supporters of the bills say transgender girls are born bigger and faster and have an unfair advantage in competition. Opponents say the bills are rooted in discrimination and fear and violate the federal law barring sex discrimination in education.

Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton alleged the law would be a statewide “black eye” — particularly as Alabama attempts to recruit major sporting events and industries.

He prefers to make better use of time:

“We are spending too much time on craziness like this.”

As you may know, the NCAA supports splitting sports according to gender identity.

On Monday, the organization issued a statement:

We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants.

Yet, as noted by NBC News, Alabama’s not nearly alone in eyeing a separation by sex:

Almost 30 states are considering legislation that would ban transgender students from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identities, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The measures are specifically meant to bar trans girls from participating.

National Center for Transgender Equality Deputy Executive Director Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen fears the damage:

“Dangerous proposals around the country are putting transgender young people at risk. The harm is real and is felt very personally by transgender kids just trying to live their lives as who they really are. The NCAA is making it clear that their Board of Governors supports transgender athletes, and the board should hold those states passing these harmful laws accountable.”

Nonetheless, four states have already enacted bans — Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Idaho.

In August, however, a federal judge interrupted Idaho’s initiative.

And you’re doubtlessly aware of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s hesitance to lend her John Hancock in light of the NCAA’s position.

She and Tucker Carlson duked it out last month:

Back to Bama, will the governor sign the bill?

We’ll soon see.

But here’s a question: As laws evolve in response to the situation, what will become of national female records broken by biological males in terms of state-to-state recognition? Or what of state records in states that end up passing Alabama-type laws after such records have been set?

Whatever the answers, one thing is sure: There’s much, much more to come.

-ALEX

 

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