Invoice Barring Transgender College students in Similar-Intercourse Sports activities Passes West Virginia Senate | Information, Sports activities, Jobs
CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Senate on Thursday expanded a bill to prevent men who switch to women from participating in women’s sports as student athletes.
House Bill 3293 on same-sex participation in interscholastic sporting events was passed by the Senate with 18-15 votes. The bill lost five Republicans, including Senate majority leader Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha.
HB 3293, as amended by the Senate Education Committee last week, requires that the gender of an intermediate, senior, and senior athlete determine which same-sex sports the student can play on their birth certificate at the time of enrollment.
“This is one of the bills you can support because you want to keep securing opportunities.” said the chair of the Senate Education Committee, Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson. “It is in the best interests of the state to protect women and girls and protect the opportunities for them to play sports. To support this is simply to do that. “
If a birth certificate is not available or does not include the student’s gender, the student must have a signed statement from a doctor stating the student’s internal and external reproductive anatomy as it is before they are allowed to play on interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club sports Sports sponsored by a public middle and high school or state college or university. HB 3293 does not apply to student sports.
The bill would apply to sports regulated by the NCAA, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or the National Junior College Athletic Association. The bill requires the West Virginia Board of Education, West Virginia Schools Secondary Activities Commission, and the Higher Education Policy Commission / West Virginia Council for Community and Technical Higher Education to establish rules for implementing HB 3293.
The Senate version of the bill also allows any aggrieved student to file a lawsuit against a county education agency if they believe the provisions of HB 3293 have been violated and a transgender student athlete has been allowed to play in a same-sex sport, though there was any action at all that would keep the student’s identity anonymous.
Opponents of the law, including Fairness West Virginia, West Virginia Free, the National Organization of Women, and the ACLU, believe the law violates student rights and increases discrimination against transgender youth. According to the human rights campaign, 17 states have considered similar bills.
“Trans women are women, period” said Andrew Schneider, managing director of Fairness West Virginia. “Trans women are not a threat to cisgender women. Our lawmakers should listen to this strong coalition of women and reject House Bill 3293. “
Proponents of the law, such as the West Virginia Family Policy Council, claim that transgender athletes who compete against their birth sex in same-sex sports put women at risk of competing with biological men.
Democratic Senators argued that the Secondary Schools Activities Commission has a policy for transgender students. According to the document, the school first decides whether the student can play. If appealed, the decision may be appealed to the Board of Directors of the Commission to determine individually whether a student poses a threat to the fairness of competition and the safety of teammates and opposing players.
Rucker said the executive director of the commission, Bernie Dolan, told her that “Politics” is only an internal document and has never been implemented. Dolan told the Associated Press that the commission does not have a specific policy for transgender students and athletes, but instead adheres to federal Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination for federally funded educational programs.
Senate majority whip Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, spoke out against the bill, stating that West Virginia has no authority over the NCAA and the bill may face constitutional challenges due to the provision that allows lawsuits.
“I don’t make this decision lightly because I agree with the concept.” Weld said. “But I take it as someone who has to deal with reality on the basis of the law, and that is exactly what happens under that legislation.”
The bill goes back to the House to approve or reject the Senate’s changes.
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