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State House Committees Approve “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act”

girl in athletic clothes holding volleyball

(UPDATE: The N.C. House passed HB 574 on Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 73-39. The companion Senate Bill, SB 631, is scheduled for consideration by the full Senate on Thursday, April 20.)

Two committees in the North Carolina House advanced a bill today that would help protect female athletes and the integrity of female sports by specifying that only biological females may participate on girls’ sports teams. This morning, the House Judiciary 1 Committee approved HB 574­—Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, and the bill passed the House Rules Committee this afternoon.

Sponsored by Reps. Jennifer Balkcom (R-Henderson), Karl Gillespie (R-Cherokee), Erin Paré (R-Wake), and Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus), this bill is designed to protect female athletes at the middle and high school level. It dictates that sports teams shall either be male, female, or co-ed, to be determined on the basis of a student’s biological sex. Notably, among those testifying in favor of the bill were decorated collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines; former UNC Women’s Basketball Coach Sylvia Hatchell; Idaho Representative Barbara Ehardt, who sponsored the original Fairness in Women’s Sports Act; and Payton McNabb, a North Carolina high school volleyball player who was severely injured by a ball spiked by a biological male on an opposing team. You can learn more about this bill and its companion bill in the State Senate here.

Over the last several years, there has been an increase in the number of biological males who identify as female playing on girls’ and women’s sports teams. There are undeniable biological differences between males and females beginning at a young age, and hormone therapies and other forms of gender affirming does not change this. In addition to the safety concerns, there is the matter of fairness. Participating in sports opens a world of opportunity to many young women in the form of scholarships, careers, and leadership skills; but now these opportunities are being lost to transgender-identifying biological males. Every award, title, and scholarship won by a biological male playing on a female sports team is one denied to a female athlete. The reason that sports are divided into male and female is to accommodate gender differences while still letting the top performers shine.

House Bill 574 now proceeds to the House floor for consideration.

SB 631, the companion bill in the State Senate also passed the Senate Rules Committee today and is headed to the Senate floor. Read about NC Family’s testimony on this bill in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee on Tuesday.


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