DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Representative Jena Powell (R- Arcanum), announced her Save Women’s Sports Act on Tuesday. The bill aims to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in organized school sports.
“Female athletes are being robbed of athletic opportunities, dreams of competing at the next level and even potential scholarship opportunities,” said Rep. Powell at a press conference.
The representative said the issue is happening across the country. However, in her announcement, she did not provide examples of the issue existing in Ohio.
“The reason we have women sports division is because biological males have physical and biological advantages over girls,” she said.
The Greater Dayton LGBT Center says the statements are not based in truth.
“It’s obviously targeting that transgender community to say they’re not welcome or even that women in themselves are so much inferior to men. Where’s the equality in that?” asked Randy Phillips, executive director at the Greater Dayton LGBT Center.
According to Powell, the bill would require schools to have female-only teams. It would also ban transgender athletes assigned male at birth to play in school sports. It bars them from participating in competitions playing against women.
“Allowing biological males to compete against biological females is a discriminatory policy that turns back the clock,” Rep. Powell said.
In press release, Powell’s office also says it provides protection for schools from being punished by non-discrimination laws. They say it also allows students to seek legal action if they feel they lost an athletic opportunity because of a transgender athlete.
Phillips says the it’s a veiled attack with a misleading name.
“This is just one more slap in the face to young people who are already struggling,” he said. “Again trying to say you’re not good enough or we don’t want you. Let us take our ball and let’s go home,” Phillips said.
There are still several steps before the bills becomes law. It will need to undergo several hearings and votes before it can be taken to the governor’s desk for his consideration.