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American News Mar 25, 2022 10:45 PM EST

Kentucky passes bill banning biological males from competing in girls' sports

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 26-9 to send the measure to the governor's desk.

Kentucky passes bill banning biological males from competing in girls' sports
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Thursday, the Kentucky Senate passed a bill banning biological males from competing in female sports from sixth grade up through college. The bill now heads to Governor Andy Beshear's desk for signing.

According to the Associated Press, the Republican-controlled Senate voted to approve the measure 26-9.

Senate Bill 83, or the "Fairness in Womens' Sports Act," separates grade school athletics into "boys," "coed," or "girls" sports.

A student's team placement will be based on the student's biological sex indicated on his or her unedited birth certificate at the time of birth.

It notes that sports designated as being for girls will not be open to members of the male sex in grades six through 12.

"Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the eligibility of any student to participate in an athletic activity or sport designated as 'boys' or 'coed,'" the bill adds.

The bill expressed similar language for post-secondary education institutes, separating sports into "mens," "coed," and "womens" sports.

"A public postsecondary education institution or private postsecondary education institution that is a member of a national intercollegiate athletic association shall prohibit a member of the male sex from competing in any intercollegiate or intramural athletic team, activity, sport, or event designated as 'womens,'" the bill states.

"Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the eligibility of any student to participate in an athletic activity or sport designated as 'mens' or 'coed,'" it adds.

Similarly to grade school sports participants, an athlete's team will be designated by his or her gender on his or her unedited birth certificate.

"A government entity, licensing or accrediting organization, or athletic association or organization shall not entertain a complaint, open an investigation, or take any other adverse action against a postsecondary education institution for maintaining a separate interscholastic or intramural athletic team, activity, sport, or event for members of the female sex," the bill states.

The bill reflects a similar one passed in Florida last summer, banning biological males from competing in women's sports, using a student's original birth certificate as the basis for placing a student on a team.

Opponents of the bill in Kentucky have called on the Democratic governor to veto it. "This bill is a solution in search of a non-existent problem," said Samuel Crankshaw, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. "It is rooted in hate and unconstitutional."

"We have people from outside our state making this an issue in our statehouse," Democratic Sen. Karen Berg said. "And then we have people in this room who are willing to take this issue up because they see it as a political positive for them, regardless of the harm that it will cause children in this state."

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