Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kentucky on Thursday joined the ranks of other states whose Republican-led legislatures have passed bills to protect girls’ sports from transgender activists.
The states join Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Iowa, among others, as well as Utah, whose GOP-dominated legislature voted to override the governor’s veto on Friday. All three state legislatures have passed the bills on to their governors for approval (or possible veto) in the coming days.
Arizona’s “Save Women’s Sports Act”
The GOP-dominated Arizona House voted 31/24 to send SB 1165 to Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) desk. According to the Associated Press, Ducey has not said whether he will sign the bill — the publication pointed to both Utah’s governor and Indiana’s, who in recent days vetoed similar bills in their states. (However, the Utah legislature voted to override Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto, and the Indiana State Legislature says it plans to do the same in May.)
Arizona’s ban would apply to both public schools and colleges, as well as private institutions that compete against public schools. The bill does specify that men and women can compete together in “coed” or “mixed” events and does not restrict women from playing on teams designated for men.
The bill lists several studies confirming the biological differences of men and women, and boys and girls, including the physiological advantages boys as young as six years old have in athletics, such as “cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and speed/agility…” The bill also details how testosterone in men gives them a greater advantage over women, even after a year of testosterone suppression, which the Internal Olympics Committee requires for “transgender women” participants.
Under the legislation, any student who is “deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a school knowingly violating” the bill has the right to sue the school for damages. The bill also prohibits schools, athletic associations, and organizations from retaliating against any student who reports a school violation, and it allows the student to sue any of those aforementioned entities if they do retaliate.
Additionally, a school is allowed to sue government entities, athletic organizations and associations, and accrediting organizations, if it suffers damage because of a violation of the bill.
The Arizona House on Thursday also approved a bill that would ban irreversible gender-reassignment surgeries for minors.
Oklahoma’s “Save Women’s Sports Act“
The legislation is almost identical to Arizona’s bill, mandating that “teams designated for ‘females,’ ‘women,’ or ‘girls’ shall not be open to students of the male sex,” and allowing for students to sue a school if it violates the legislation and deprives that student of an athletic opportunity.
The bill differs in that it orders the parents or legal guardians of a student at the beginning of each school year to “sign an affidavit acknowledging the biological sex of the student at birth.”
While media reports have not confirmed whether Gov. Stitt has vocalized his support of the bill, Stitt has a history of favoring legislation rooted in biological reality. Stitt previously said “there is no such thing as non-binary sex,” and once issued an executive order telling the Oklahoma State Department of Health that “changes in sex or gender on a birth certificate or a designation of nonbinary” is “contrary” to state law, a local ABC News affiliate reported.
Kentucky’s “Save Women’s Sports Act“
Kentucky lawmakers passed SB83 26-9, which bans men who think they are women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports from sixth grade through college.
The legislation would require students to have an original, unedited copy of their birth certificate or a signed affidavit from a medical practitioner. However, the bill does not restrict who can participate in coed or boys’ or men’s teams.
While the law does not contain language that would give students the green light to sue their school for damages if it breaks the law, it mandates that governments, licensing or accrediting organizations, and athletic associations are barred from taking adverse action or opening investigations.
According to the Courier Journal, Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear has not indicated whether he will pass or veto the bill. The publication did note that the state legislature’s Republican supermajorities “have the power to override it.”
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.