Ohio's transgender sports ban attempt in the spotlight
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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