Champion surfer Bethany Hamilton is speaking out against the World Surf League's newly announced policy that would allow biological males to compete against women in professional surfing events (1).
Hamilton’s comments spotlight the growing controversy arising from a Department of Education proposal, issued last June, to redefine the meaning of “sex” in the Title IX law to include “gender identity” (2). Such a change would impose a competitive disadvantage on biological females (3).
In response, a milestone court decision was handed down, and a series of proposed bills have been introduced at the federal and state levels that are designed to protect women’s sports.
On January 5, 2023, the Southern District Court of West Virginia ruled in favor of the Save Women's Sports Bill, which defines "girl" and "woman" as biologically female for the purpose of secondary school sports (4).
In Congress, Rep. Greg Steube recently introduced the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. The bill, which now has 20 co-sponsors, would require that sex “be recognized based solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth” (5).
In 12 states, lawmakers recently have introduced bills designed to protect women’s sports:
Alaska: HB 27 (6)
Colorado: HB 23-1098 (7)
Connecticut: SB 468 (8)
Hawaii: HB 508/SB 1429 (9)
Kansas: HB 2238 (10)
Maryland: HB 359 (11)
Minnesota: HF 551 (12)
Missouri: SB 48 (13)
New Jersey: SB 589 (14)
North Dakota: HB 1249 (15) and HB 1489 (16)
Texas: HB 23 (17)
Virginia: HB 1387 (18)
Eighteen states previously enacted laws designed to ban biological males from competing in female sports: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia (19).
A SAVE opinion poll found that 71% of Americans oppose allowing transgender athletes to participate in women’s sports (20). SAVE urges lawmakers to discourage attempts the redefine “sex” and work to assure fairness in women’s sports (21).
Department of Education
Save Women's Sports Bill
Rep. Greg Steube
Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act
SAVE opinion poll