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Bills would prevent transgender females in Ohio from competing in girls-only sports

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Two bills that have been introduced in the Ohio legislature would prevent transgender females from competing against biological females in girls-only sports.

As it currently stands, the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s policy allows transgender females to compete against biological girls if the following criteria are met:

  • The transgender female has gone through at least a year of hormone therapy.
  • A doctor proves there is no physical or physiological advantage for the transgender female.

House Bill 61, or the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” is sponsored by Ohio House Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum).

“This bill is very important in our state because we want every girl to be able to achieve their athletic dream,” Powell said. “When we have biological males competing against females in female-only sports, it robs little girls of their athletic opportunities.”

Under HB61, if a person’s sex is disputed the participant’s sex must be established by presenting a signed physician’s statement indicating the sex. The sex will be based on the following:

  • The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy
  • The participant’s endogenously produced levels of testosterone
  • An analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup

Tristan Vaught is a co-founder of Transform-Cincy, an organization that gives curated outfits to kids in transition.

Vaught says the current OHSAA and NCAA rules for transgender athletes are already enough.

“For being able to compete, you had to have hormone therapy for a year, and you had to have blood tests to make sure your estrogen levels were in range, and your testosterone levels were in range,” Vaught said. “That’s already there.”

HB61 had its first hearing, and Powell now says she is requesting a second.

The next hearing will allow people across Ohio to share personal stories about protecting girls’ sports, Powell says.

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