(WKBN) – The Ohio legislature is considering a law that would prohibit transgender females from participating in girls’ and women’s sports. Lawmakers and others have been talking about the issue.
State Representative Jena Powell represents a district northwest of Dayton. She is sponsoring a law to ban transgender females from competing in female-only sports. Powell testified on Wednesday at a committee hearing in Columbus.
“I’m passionate about this issue because we cannot allow little girls’ dreams of being a gold medal athlete to be crushed by biological males stealing their opportunities,” Powell said.
Mara Keisling is the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“This isn’t about elite world-class athletes. This is about kids playing with each other, kids learning the important lessons from sports,” Keisling said.
“It’s pending in Arizona, Connecticut, Missouri, North Dakota,” Powell said.
Powell listed other states where similar laws are being proposed. She cited two transgender females in Connecticut who in 2018 dominated the state’s track championships.
“Across our country, female athletes are currently losing championships, scholarship opportunities,” Powell said.
State Representative Joe Miller of Amherst questioned if females were actually losing scholarships.
“Ohio State has come down to that 13-year-old and said, ‘You know what? You just got taken to school by that transgender… So we’re going to pull an Ohio State scholarship,” Miller said.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) policy for transgender females states they must complete one year of hormone treatment to suppress testosterone and also demonstrate that they do not possess physical advantages.
“What we are OK with is sports associations studying the problem, doing the best they can to come up with policies,” Keisling said.
“Unfortunately, these policies have been enacted in other states and have resulted in biological males winning in girls’ sports,” Powell said.
Over the past six years, OHSAA has approved just 11 transgender females to participate in female sports. The proposed law, known as House Bill 61, has 16 sponsors — all Republicans. None of the representatives from the Mahoning Valley are among the sponsors.