Transgender women in Alabama would be prohibited from joining female sports teams in college, under legislation advanced Wednesday by a legislative committee.
The Alabama House Education Policy Committee approved legislation that would extend a 2021 ban on transgender athletes in K-12 sports teams to include college teams. The bill states that sports teams “designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to a biological male.” Similarly, a “biological female” would also not be allowed to participate on teams for boys and men. The legislation now moves to the full Alabama House of Representatives.
Supporters said transgender women have an unfair advantage in competition, while opponents argue the bills are rooted in discrimination and fear. At least 19 other states have now imposed restrictions on transgender athletes.
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“Forcing women to compete against biological men would reverse decades of progress that women have made for equal opportunity in athletics,” Republican Rep. Susan DuBose, the bill’s sponsor told the committee. Dubose said “no amount of hormone therapy can undo all those advantages” of being born male.
Jeff Walker, an Auburn father who spoke against the legislation during a public hearing, said the bill targets a “pretend problem.” He challenged lawmakers to show an instance where transgender athletes have had an unfair advantage on an Alabama team.
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“We should stop trying to pretend protecting sports is what this is about. You are trying to keep transgender youth isolated and secluded,” Walker said.
Forty Republican lawmakers in the 105-member House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. The proposed ban would affect both intercollegiate or intramural athletic teams.
The Biden administration this month proposed a rule, which still faces a lengthy approval process, to forbid outright bans on transgender athletes.