A bill aiming to ban men from participating in women’s sports failed to pass the Ohio state General Assembly last week.
Though the bill cleared the Ohio state Senate with a vote of 23-7, it fell short of the needed votes in the lower state house. The bill also would have made it illegal to discriminate against children based on their coronavirus vaccination status, as well as give the governor more power over the Ohio Department of Education.
Introduced by Republican state Rep. Jena Powell, the amendment to the bill that initially addressed the Ohio Teacher Residency Program said that no school or athletic conference “shall permit individuals of the male sex to participate on athletic teams or in athletic competitions designated only for participants of the female sex.”
“A provision in the bill that would have mandated students undergo ‘internal and external’ exams to determine their biological sex was taken out of the bill earlier this month,” reported Fox News. “A subsequent provision was also removed that would have required student-athletes whose ‘sex is disputed’ to prove their biological sex with a birth certificate.”
“Despite the bill’s failure, some form of it could be taken up again during the next legislative session, when Republicans will hold a firmer majority in the state House of Representatives,” the report added. “Republicans presently hold 64 of the House’s 99 seats and will pick up three more next year.”
Though Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine did not say if he would veto the bill, he did say that the state legislature should stay out of regulating transgenders in sports, opting to leave it up to individual leagues.
“This issue is best addressed outside of government through individual sports leagues and athletic associations, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who can tailor policies to meet the needs of their member athletes and member institutions,” DeWine previously said.
As many as 18 states have pushed legislation to ban men from competing in women’s sports, a movement that accelerated in 2022 when UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas coasted to victory in the NCAA championships against his female competitors despite his mediocre record when swimming as a man.
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