CLEVELAND (WJW)– It has become a hot topic across the country and now it’s becoming a hot topic here in Ohio: the debate on transgender females and sports.
State Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) is backing the two bills, House Bill 61 and Senate Bill 132, which would ban transgender females from female teams.
“I believe it is not only an issue of fairness, but of safety for our girls and women to play sports,” she said. “You don’t want your daughter playing on a field or running against other girls that have used performance enhancing drugs, so why would we want them playing on that same field as someone that was born as a biological male?”
Eliana Turan is the director of development for the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. She said Ohio cannot let history repeat itself.
“The bills are harmful because it really puts female athletes down and it makes women sound as if we are not as good as male athletes,” Turan said.
“Black athletes weren’t allowed to compete with white athletes, and we know that that was wrong. Why are we taking the same logic and just putting it on the trans community?”
Right now, the Ohio High School Athletic Association allows for transgender females to play on girls’ sports teams following a year of hormone therapy or test results that show no physiological advantages over genetic females of the same age group.
The OHSAA said in a statement to FOX 8 it has not been presented with any information that would suggest that female athletes in Ohio are losing participation opportunities, championships or scholarships because of transgender athlete participation.
Since the 2015-2016 school year, there have been 48 transgender athlete rulings in Ohio, 11 were approved. No transgender athlete holds a state record.
Roegner said she expects the bill to pass, but it likely won’t happen before fall.