Legislators in at least five states have introduced bills in recent weeks that would require athletes in high school and lower grades to compete on teams that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.
The bills in Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, New Hampshire and Washington are intended to prevent what has happened in Connecticut, where two biological boys who identify as girls have won multiple girls’ state championship track titles.
Tennessee state Rep. Bruce Griffey introduced the bill in his state.
“There’s no ill will intended toward anyone regarding this legislation,” Griffey, a Republican, told WTVF. “What it’s simply trying to do is, I think science and experience and just society – we all know that traditionally males generally have bigger hearts, bigger upper body strength, and that can give them a genetic advantage when competing against women in a number of sports.”
Georgia state Rep. Philip Singleton, a Republican, said his bill would prevent biological males from having an “unfair advantage” if they choose to compete as females. His bill would not impact team sports such as football and basketball.
“The Student Athlete Protection Act is designed to ensure that biological boys will only compete in sports against other biological boys and vice-versa for girls,” Singleton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The intent of my bill is to make sure every student has the opportunity to compete fairly.”
Last year, a legal group representing three female Connecticut high school athletes filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, asserting that the state’s governing body is violating federal law by allowing…