Bill against trans girls in women’s sports passes State House | Science

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania House voted Tuesday after a tense debate to approve a bill banning transgender girls from participating in girls’ school sports.

All but one Republican and four Democrats voted for the proposal to restrict players on K-12 school teams, varsity sports, intramurals and club teams sponsored by school entities to either men’s or women’s teams based on their reproductive organs, biology or genetics at birth.

“Identities don’t sport, bodies do,” argued the measures main sponsor, Rep. Barb Gleim, R-Cumberland. She said allowing transgender girls to participate in women’s sports gave them a “huge unfair advantage” and took away places on teams from other girls.

“Sport isn’t about how we look or the stereotypes or identities we adopt,” Gleim said.

The bill, which went to the state Senate for consideration by a vote of 115 to 84, would bar “male students” from playing on sports teams designated for women or girls. This would allow students and schools to take legal action, including against sports organisations.

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“This bill demonstrates a lack of empathy and, sadly, outright hatred to gain imaginary political points,” said Rep. Austin Davis of Allegheny County, one of many Democrats to vote there. oppose. “And to those who formulated this game plan, I pray that your eyes will be opened to the harm you are doing.”

A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Tuesday that if the bill reaches him, he would veto it.

Gleim spoke about University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a transgender woman who recently won an NCAA Women’s Division I National Championship title.

“Thomas’ case shows us how a single biological male competing in women’s sports can decimate an entire league,” Gleim said.

The NCAA has a sport-by-sport policy that defines transgender participation by the national governing body for that sport, subject to review by an NCAA committee. In Pennsylvania, the state’s Interscholastic Athletic Association leaves decisions about transgender athletes to the directors.

Rep. Valerie Gaydos, R-Allegheny, said allowing transgender girls to participate in women’s sports “destroys fair competition, it doesn’t create it.”

“As a former Division III lacrosse player, I can’t imagine playing against biological men who are bigger, faster, stronger,” Gaydos said.

Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, who has long unsuccessfully sought to pass legislation expanding civil rights for LGBTQ people, said research suggests the best approach is to “let trans kids be themselves.” .

“We’re heading for a vote that resolves a hypothetical crisis that just didn’t happen,” Frankel said.

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