Recently the Pennsylvania State Senate has given its final approval of legislation that aims to “protect the integrity of women’s sports.” The legislation has been sent to the governor to be signed into law.
This legislation is known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act or House Bill 972. The bill ensures that biological males can’t compete on school athletic teams designated for women and girls. The bill also provides legal recourse for students harmed when schools and colleges violate the proposed law. Recently, more than a dozen states have passed legislation similar to House Bill 972 after women’s sports organizations were pressured to allow biological males to compete on their teams. The bill is prime sponsored by Representative Barbara Gleim. She and the other bill sponsors issued the following memorandum to precede it.
“The opportunity for girls to compete on a level playing field must be protected. Title IX was designed to stop discrimination and create equal athletic opportunities for women. However, allowing biological males to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advancement for women. There are “‘[i]nherent differences’ between men and women,” and these differences “remain cause for celebration, but not for denigration of the members of either sex or for artificial constraints on an individual’s opportunity.” United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 533 (1996). These “inherent differences” range from hormonal differences to physiological differences. Having separate biologically-specific teams, which Title IX protects, furthers efforts to promote women’s equality.
Biologically-specific teams accomplish this by providing opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their skill, strength, and athletic abilities while also providing them with opportunities to obtain recognition and accolades, college scholarships, and the numerous other long-term benefits that flow from success in athletic endeavors.
We are introducing the Save Women’s Sports Act to protect opportunities for women and girls in athletics by ensuring women are not forced to compete against biological males playing on women’s sports teams.
Please join us in protecting the advances in civil rights for women and consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.”