Jun 7, 2022 - Politics

Ohio's transgender sports ban attempt in the spotlight

A Twitter photo of a young girl reading, "This is my daughter. She just turned 9.   Here is why I would never allow her to play middle or high school sports if we lived in Ohio"
Tweets from a Washington parent condemns Ohio lawmakers' efforts to pass legislation banning transgender athletes in schools. Via Twitter.

A viral Twitter thread is drawing attention to the Ohio House's recent passage of a transgender athlete ban and a controversial provision on enforcing it.

Details: Under House Bill 151, "individuals of the male sex" are prohibited from competing in middle school, high school or college athletic teams "designated only for participants of the female sex."

  • Anyone would be allowed to challenge any student's eligibility, forcing the athlete to prove their gender by undergoing medical inspections of their "internal and external reproductive anatomy."
  • A check of their genetic makeup and testosterone levels would also be required.

Catch up quick: Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives approved the ban in a late-night vote last Wednesday.

  • The bill now requires Senate approval and the governor's signature to become law.

The big picture: Ohio has only one transgender girl playing a high school sport, the Ohio Capital Journal reports.

  • The Ohio High School Athletic Association currently requires transgender athletes to undergo a year of hormone treatment or demonstrate they have no other physical advantages in order to compete.

The other side: Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum), who has pushed for the transgender sports ban since last year, praised the House vote as necessary to protect girls' "championships, scholarship opportunities, medals, education and training opportunities."

What's next: The Senate did not act when the House pushed this legislation in 2021, and does not appear poised to do so this week before heading into its summer break.

  • But the bill could see progress after lawmakers return this fall, with midterm elections approaching.
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