Feb 3, 2023 - News

This week at the Virginia Capitol: GOP’s trans sports ban

Illustration of the Virginia State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

House Republicans are advancing a ban on transgender girls and women competing in K-12 women’s sports.

Why it matters: The legislation is part of a nationwide push in the GOP to roll back transgender rights.

What’s happening: The Virginia bill cleared its first subcommittee on a party-line vote earlier this week.

  • The bill’s sponsor, Del. Karen Greenhalgh, called it a matter of fairness.
  • “Today, even the strongest, fastest girls in Virginia must step up to the starting line and know, ‘I can’t win,'” she said, per WRIC.

The other side: Opponents called the measure mean-spirited and a nonissue in Virginia.

  • “We have had transgender youth living in the commonwealth, and there has been no takeover of women’s sports,” said Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, a Fairfax County Democrat, per the Virginian-Pilot. “I just don’t understand why this conversation continues.”

The big picture: The Virginia High School League already has regulations in place addressing the issue, making decisions on a case-by-case basis.

  • Since the rules were implemented in 2014, 28 students applied to play on teams aligning with their gender identity and 25 were approved, WRIC reports.

What’s next: The measure is expected to clear the House but unlikely to make it past Democrats in the Senate.

Meanwhile…

🌿 House Republicans look like they’re going to block any effort to legalize retail recreational marijuana sales. (Virginia Mercury)

🤑 A House panel voted down a bill that would have prohibited lawmakers from spending campaign money on personal expenses. (AP)

  • “I would suggest that donors need to not donate to the people they don’t trust,” said GOP Del. Wren Williams.

⚖️ Lawmakers in the Senate rejected a proposal by Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration to relieve pressure on the state’s unemployment insurance program by cutting the time applicants have to appeal claims. (AP)

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