Arizona approved a bill that would ban female transgender athletes from participating in school sports.
The Arizona House of Representatives passed a new bill that if signed into law could potentially ban transgender women from participating in scholastic sporting events. The bill known as the "Save Women's Sports Act" was introduced by Republican Rep. Nancy Barto, and will require educational institutions to assign sports for males and females based specifically on the persons' biological sex.
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The House Bill 2706 will essentially be applied to grade levels K-12, community college, and universities' female teams. The "Save Women's Sports Act" reveals that "a student may establish (their) sex by presenting a signed physician's statement that indicates the student's sex" in conjunction with detailed documentation of the student's DNA analysis.
The bill was initially introduced on Feb. 3 and passed in the Arizona House of Representatives one month later dividing party lines 31-29 after an emotional hour-long debate this past Tuesday (March 3). In a statement provided to ABC News, Nancy Barto wrote:
"This bill is about fairness. That’s it. What is fair on the field, the court, the track, and in the pool."
Barto then went on to list the physical advantages that males have over their female counterparts in regards to muscle mass, testosterone levels, and more. Barton continued:
"That is why we have separated male and female sports. And that is why women have been so successful in achieving greatness on the field, and all the benefits that go with it. What has changed is Interscholastic policies allowing biological males identifying as females to compete on women's teams."
While Barto and the other representatives that state that they want to keep a level playing field amongst school sports, the bill's opposers claim that it fails to protect LGBTQ kids and transgender youth. However, the bill does have some protective language established within it allowing students to take legal action against scholastic institutions as it states:
"Any student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers a direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this section has a private cause of action for injunctive relief, damages and any other relief available under law against the educational institution."
While Arizona House Democrats, local businesses, and more have displayed their frustration with the "Save Women's Sports Act," the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), the state's governing body for school sports, has procedures in place that allows transgender athletes to compete in sporting events "in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity."
Arizona might be progressive in regards to marijuana production and consumption, the state still has some work to do in regards to gender identity politics. Check out ABC News official report on Arizona's "Save Women's Sports Act" in the video provided below.