UPDATE: On June 22, the State House passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act in a concurrence vote of 62-43. The bill now heads to Governor Cooper’s desk.
On Tuesday, June 20th, the North Carolina Senate passed HB 574—Fairness in Women’s Sports Act by a vote of 31-17. This bill would direct middle school, high school, and collegiate sports teams to be designated as either male, female, or co-ed (on the basis of biological sex) and that would prohibit biological males from participating on female sports teams. It had previously been approved by the State House, but because the Senate made some changes, it will now return to the State House for a concurrence vote.
Sponsored by Representatives Jennifer Balkcom (R-Henderson), Karl Gillespie (R-Macon), Erin Paré (R-Wake), and Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus), House Bill 574 would protect the health and safety of female athletes, along with the integrity of women’s athletics.
While testifying before the Senate Education Committee in favor of the bill, NC Family President John Rustin shared, “Even in middle school, boys—on average—have a physical advantage over girls, and these differences only accelerate after the onset of puberty. To allow biological males to participate in female sports is simply unfair, unsafe, and inequitable.”
He added, “Sports teams and athletic competitions are regularly divided into divisions, age brackets, and weight classes for a reason. The same rationale applies to male and female sports, which is why sex-segregated teams have historically existed. Nothing in this bill prohibits anyone from participating in athletic competition. It simply provides a common-sense solution to ensure fairness, safety, and a level playing field in middle school, high school, and collegiate sports, especially for our girls and young women.”