Transgender sports rule would be changed by bill

Larry Limpf

A bill that would designate male and female school sports teams be based on the biological sex of participants has been assigned to the Primary and Secondary Education Committee in the Ohio House of Representatives.
State representatives Jena Powell, R-Arcanum, and Reggie Stoltzfus, R-Paris Twp., introduced House Bill 527 last month, saying it was needed to ensure that women are not forced to compete against transgender men playing on women’s sports teams.
“The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women,” said. Rep. Powell. “This bill ensures that every little girl who works hard to make it on a podium is not robbed of her chance by a biological male competing against her in a biological female sport. We want every little girl to achieve her athletic dream here in the State of Ohio.”
Stoltzfus said it isn’t the aim of the bill to “hurt or punish those who may be affected by this legislation in some way, but to protect fair competition. I seek to treat all people with dignity and respect by promoting a level playing field in Ohio’s inter-scholastic athletics.”
In addition, the bill also includes wording to protect a school or college who preserve women-only teams from being punished by a government entity via a state or local non-discrimination law. The bill also allows a private right of action for a student deprived of an athletic opportunity by a school or college found to be violating the bill.
Students are also protected from retaliatory actions taken by a school and the bill establishes a process to resolve disputes over a student’s sex.
If passed, it would apply to all public schools and colleges and private schools or colleges that are members of a state or national athletic association.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has a policy for transgender students. According to the OHSAA website:
“A transgender female who is taking medically prescribed hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate on a boys’ team at any time. However, before a transgender female can participate in a girl’s sport or on a girls’ team she must either (1) have completed a minimum of one year of hormone treatment related to gender transition or (2) demonstrate to the Executive Director’s Office by way of sound medical evidence that she does not possess physical (bone structure, muscle mass, testosterone, hormonal, etc.) or physiological advantages over genetic females of the same age group.
A transgender male who has not yet begun medically prescribed testosterone treatment for purposes of gender transition may participate on a boys’ team. If, however, the transgender male student athlete is taking medically prescribed testosterone treatment, before he can participate on a boys’ team, medical evidence must be submitted to the executive director’s office that certifies that (1) the muscle mass developed as a result of this testosterone treatment does not exceed the muscle mass that is typical of an adolescent genetic boy; (2) that he has not started any hormone treatment (or that the testosterone treatment does not cause hormone levels to exceed normal levels); and (3) his hormone levels are monitored by a licensed physician every three to six months.”
A legislative aide for Rep. Don Jones, who chairs the Primary and Secondary Education Committee, said a hearing on the bill hasn’t been scheduled.
Last month, three families in Connecticut filed a federal complaint to change a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference rule that allows high school athletes to compete in sports corresponding with their gender identity.
Connecticut is one of about 17 states with a policy that doesn’t require medical hormones or surgery to compete, according to


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