Arizona Considers Banning Transgender Athletes from Competing Based on Gender Identity

AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb

The State of Arizona is set to consider a bill which would require sports to accept athletes based only on their birth gender, and bar transgender athletes from choosing a sport based on the gender with which they identify.

The bill is sponsored by GOP Rep. Nancy Barto (15th District) and is co-sponsored by 22 other Republican House members, according to NBC News.

The proposed bill would allow only biological females to play in female-only sports and requires a doctor’s note to assure that status. The law also allows for a biological girl to sue a school district for lost opportunities for scholarships and other benefits thanks to men posing as transgender females competing.

Rep. Barto said that the purpose of the bill is to promote fairness and prevent men claiming to be women from competing as women. Her bill would apply to public schools K-12, as well as community colleges and state universities. But it would pertain only to female-specific sports teams.

“When this is allowed, it discourages female participation in athletics and, worse, it can result in women and girls being denied crucial educational and financial opportunities,” the rep. said in a statement.

Barto said that she saw a need for such legislation due to what happened to several girls in Connecticut who lost education opportunities when they were knocked out of placing in sports because boys claiming to be transgender girls won state sports titles.

The Phoenix Republican also cited a recent federal lawsuit by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed a lawsuit in support of the girls from Connecticut.

Arizona joins a growing number of states looking to pass laws to ban boys claiming to be transgender girls from competing against biological girls in state-sponsored sports.

Georgia is now considering a bill that would ban transgender athletes from choosing their own sports category. A Tennessee lawmaker recently filed a similar bill, as did a Republican lawmaker in Washington State. Idaho lawmakers are also considering such a bill.

Other bills restricting transgender activities are also popping up in state legislatures. A bill was introduced in Massachusetts, for instance, that would bar mental health counselors from aiding minors to become transgender.

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