UPDATE: On June 15th, the Senate Rules Committee approved House Bill 574. It now proceeds to the Senate floor.
This morning, the North Carolina Senate Committee for Education/Higher Education approved HB 574—Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, a bill that 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. Back in April, both the State Senate and the State House passed their own versions of the bill, but neither measure had been taken up by the other chamber until this morning.
Sponsored by Representatives Jennifer Balkcom (R-Henderson), Karl Gillespie (R-Macon), Erin Paré (R-Wake), and Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus), HB 574 would protect the health and safety of female athletes, along with the integrity of women’s athletics. Senators Kevin Corbin (R-Macon), Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth), and Vickie Sawyer (R-Iredell) are the primary sponsors of Senate Bill 631, the Senate companion bill.
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.”
HB 574 now proceeds to the Senate Rules Committee.