State Watch

Pennsylvania lawmakers advance ban on transgender athletes in women’s sports

Pennsylvania lawmakers took a step toward advancing legislation that would would bar transgender girls and women athletes from competing on teams that correspond with their gender identity.

The state’s House Education Committee moved the legislation forward on Tuesday in a 15-9 vote. The legislation says that “athletic teams or sports designated for females, women or girls … may not be open to students of the male sex,” according the bill’s text.

According to the bill, “sex” refers to the “biological distinction between male and female based on reproductive biology and genetic make-up.”

The legislation would affect community colleges, state universities and public schools, among others. 

Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus slammed the advancement of the bill in a statement.

“In yet another attempt to inflict harm on one of PA’s most vulnerable communities, House Republicans are moving a bill to ban transgender women from playing women’s school sports in Pennsylvania,” state Rep. Brian Sims (D), co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Caucus, said in a statement.

“This is a solution in search of a problem, and with the number of trans women and girls who play sports actually being extremely small, we must recognize this for what it is — an inflammatory move meant to spark a culture war, not a meaningful policy solution for an issue impacting working Pennsylvanians,” he added.

The bill’s advancement comes as at least a dozen other states have passed similar legislation, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has already signaled he would likely veto the bill if it made its way to him. Two Republican governors, Spencer Cox of Utah and Eric Holcomb of Indiana, have already vetoed their states’ legislation.

Tags Brian Sims Indiana Pennsylvania Tom Wolf Tom Wolf transgender athlete ban Utah

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