Laura Bischoff, Dayton Daily News |
Lawmakers in more than 20 states, including Ohio, are pushing bills to block transgender athletes from participating in school sports.
State Sen. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, introduced Senate Bill 132, which would prohibit transgender athletes from competing on teams that align with their gender identities.
Roegner said the bill is about inclusiveness and safety for women.
“Allowing young men, who consider themselves women, gives them an unsafe advantage based on genetics on a women’s soccer field or basketball court for example. People are allowed to make choices in this country. Sometimes those decisions exclude people from certain groups or activities,” said Roegner, a former college athlete who says she doesn’t personally know any transgender Ohioans.a
Under Roegner’s bill, if an athlete’s sex is disputed, a physician would have to sign a statement indicating the athlete’s sex based on their reproductive anatomy, testosterone levels and genetic makeup.
Teammates who believe they were harmed by transgender athletes who violate the rules would have the right to file lawsuits, according to the bill.
Darius Stubbs, vice chair of TransOhio, called the bill “backward at best and sadistic at worst” and said students whose sex is disputed would be subject to invasive examinations.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s policy requires trans athletes and their families to notify their schools that they would like to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity. The school notifies OHSAA, which then makes a decision based on the impact of medically prescribed hormone treatment undertaken by each athlete.
Over the past six years, OHSAA has granted 35 approvals for female-to-male athletes and 11 approvals for male-to-female athletes in grades 7 to 12. Two requests were denied because of insufficient records. Roughly 400,000 Ohio middle and high school students participate in sports each year.