South Carolina considers ban on trans students in girls’ sports

South Carolina considers ban on trans students in girls’ sports
A group who opposes a bill that would ban almost all abortions in South Carolina put up a sign outside the Statehouse on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. The bill has passed the Senate and been sent to the House. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins) (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — House members spent more than an hour Tuesday listening to testimony on a bill in South Carolina that would prevent transgender students from playing on girls’ sports teams in middle and high school.

It wasn’t enough time to hear from everyone, so the House subcommittee didn’t take a vote on the bill.

Rep. Ashley Trantham sponsored the proposal. She said there have been no complaints of transgender students playing on girls’ teams yet, but her intention was to prevent it from happening before it could become a problem.

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“The next generation of female athletes in South Carolina may not have the chance to excel in those same sports,” the Republican from Pelzer said.

All athletes in South Carolina would have to play on teams based on their “biological sex” listed on their birth certificates. More than a dozen other states are considering similar bills. Idaho passed a proposal, which is held up in the courts.

The bill is “unnecessary, unenforceable and it is dangerous,” said Chase Glenn with the Alliance for Full Acceptance.

Glenn said there is no evidence a transgender student would have an unfair physical advantage. Opponents said there are so many other things that decide athletic advantage like hand-eye coordination, practice and innate talent as opposed to hormones and physical differences.

To be able to play on a sports team, transgender students might be required to come out, which is unfair too, Glenn said.

The proposals in South Carolina and other states come as a growing number of state high school athletic associations in the U.S. have enabled transgender athletes to play on teams based on their gender identity, and the NCAA has trans-inclusive guidelines for all its member schools.

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