The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that sports organizations allow biologically male, transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports without lowering their testosterone levels.
The IOC stated that no athlete should be excluded from competition based on unverified, alleged or perceived unfair competitive advantage due to biological sex in a Tuesday report. The report says athletes should compete in sports based on their self-determined gender identity and should not be subject to “targeted testing” to determine biological sex.
The battle to “Save Women’s Sports” resulted in a slew of legislation banning biological males from girls’ sports and conversations on the national stage about gender, sex, individual dignity, and much more. Now the advocacy groups behind this push are assembling to battle the next burgeoning culture war issue — transgender sex change surgeries and procedures for minors.
Progressive activists, media, lawmakers, and even some medical professionals call such procedures “gender affirming medical care” and protest that denying an individual this “care” is cruel, regardless of age. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the state’s SAFE Act in April, arguing that the legislation was a “vast government overreach” and that it shouldn’t jump into every ethical issue.
But advocacy groups like the Family Policy Alliance (FPA) insist these procedures irrevocably hurt children. And backed by a network of about 40 independent, state-based family policy councils, FPA aims to multiply the number of states across the nation that legally protect children from gender transition.
“We’re not often heard,” Cynthia Monteleone told a trio of female senators Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill. “Though we are just three of thousands that this is happening to.”
Monteleone is a world champion track athlete who competed against a transgender competitor in the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Málaga, Spain. Dressed in a white pantsuit with a fresh tropical flower tucked behind her ear, she spent Wednesday and Thursday urging Republican lawmakers to fight back against biological males competing in women’s sports.
A biologically male middle school student may run on a girl’s cross country team this fall in spite of West Virginia’s new law banning biological males from women’s sports, U.S. Circuit Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled Wednesday.
Lawyers from the ACLU-West Virginia had argued that HB 3293 would unfairly prevent the 11-year-old student, Becky Pepper-Jackson, from participating on a girls cross country team.
Goodwin issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday allowing Pepper-Jackson to “sign up for and participate in school athletics in the same way as her girl classmates.”
A biologically male runner has been banned from the women’s 400-meter Olympic hurdle event because the runner did not meet the World Athletics conditions on testosterone levels.
“CeCe [Telfer] has turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train,” the transgender athlete’s manager said, the Associated Press reported, adding that Telfer will respect the decision. “She will compete on the national — and world — stage again soon.”
Transgender runner Telfer won the NCAA title competing for a women’s team in 2019, according to the AP.
Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have banned biological males from women’s sports.
“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” the governor said in a statement, according to the Associated Press, adding that “even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue” in Louisiana.
Louisiana’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would have prohibited biological males from participating in female intercollegiate, interscholastic, or intramural athletic sports “that receive state funding.”
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday banning biological males from women’s sports.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act prohibits biological males from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for female students and requires that a student’s school or institution “request a certain health examination and consent form or other statement from the student’s health care provider to verify the student’s biological sex under certain circumstances.”
“The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis tweeted Tuesday. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”
President Joe Biden’s administration and the Department of Justice are reportedly preparing to challenge bills banning biological males from women’s sports, multiple sources told the Daily Beast.
“We are having conversations with the Biden administration about additional actions that they should be taking as it relates to anti-LGBTQ bills that we’re seeing in these states,” Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Alphonso David told the Daily Beast. “But we want to make sure we don’t lose sight of how important those words are, and how important his early actions have been to support and protect LGBTQ people throughout the country.”
The governor of Kansas has vetoed a bill that would have banned biological males from participating in women’s sports.
Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” Thursday, saying in a news release that the legislation “sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide,” according to local outlet KMBC.
“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.”
The governor of West Virginia signaled that he will not veto a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.
Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed HB 3293 during a coronavirus briefing Wednesday saying that he would either “let it become law or sign it,” according to The Hill. The governor also said that he would “absolutely not” veto the bill, the publication reported.
“From the standpoint of how I feel about it personally… I just can’t possibly get through my head that it is the right thing for us at a middle school level or a high school level in our state for me not to support the bill,” Justice said, according to the Hill. “So, I do support the bill.”