On Thursday, the Kentucky Senate passed a bill (Senate Bill 83) restricting transgender athletes to only participate in sports with those of the same biological sex. The bill covers sports from sixth grade to college.
The bill states that the student’s gender would be determined under the law by the biological sex “as originally issued at the time of birth or adoption.”
The Senate, which has a Republican majority, voted 26 to 9 on the bill. Now, the bill awaits the approval of Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Andy Beshear.
The lead sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator Robby Mills, said, “An 18-year-old college freshman has the same right to a fair and level playing field as an 18-year-old high school senior.”
Mills also said that the Republican-led House of Representatives strengthened the bill by including college sports.
One of the opponents, Democratic Senator David Yates, said, “We’re regulating children’s sports at the state legislature, something we haven’t done, for an issue that has not been an issue.”
Another opponent, Samuel Crankshaw, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said, “This bill is a solution in search of a non-existent problem.” “It is rooted in hate and unconstitutional,” he continued.
The Kentucky bill is following the trend set by Republican-dominated state legislatures across the country. The Utah and Indiana legislatures passed the same bill barring transgender athletes, however, the two Republican governors vetoed the bill.
With two Republican governors already vetoing the bill, it seems unlikely that Kentucky’s Democratic governor will sign it. However, more Republican states are likely to pick up on the trend.
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