By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
June 16, 2023
A pair of North Carolina Senate committees this week advanced a bill that would make the Tarheel State the 23rd nationwide to prohibit biological males from playing on women’s teams and in female-only sports.
HB 574, better known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, passed the North Carolina Senate Rules Committee and Education Committee via voice vote with an amendment that was not in the previous version that passed the House. The amended bill approved by the committees applies not only to middle and high schools but also to private and public colleges and universities.
“This is not telling anyone they can’t play. This is only telling everyone that women’s sports is for women,” said Sen. Vickie Sawyer, a Republican and a bill sponsor.
All total, 22 states nationwide have passed laws that prohibit biological males who identify as women from playing on female teams, according to Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Athletic teams designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex,” the bill states. “… A student’s sex shall be recognized based solely on the student’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
Sawyer addressed critics of the bill by asking a series of rhetorical questions.
“Why do we even have men and women’s sports? Why do we even have divisions? Why don’t we just allow heavyweight wrestlers to compete against lightweight wrestlers? Why don’t we allow the NFL to come and play South Iredell High School in football?”
The bill, she said, is “about women, the love of women and a love of women’s sports.”
Last year, a high-speed volleyball spike by a transgender-identifying Highlands School player injured a female player for Hiwasee Dam High School. The Highlands School player is a biological male who identifies as female.
The injured Hiwasee Dam High athlete, Payton McNabb, has endorsed the bill, saying she suffered from a concussion and neck injury and has “impaired vision, partial paralysis on my right side, constant headaches as well as anxiety and depression.”
In Connecticut, two high school athletes who are biologically male but who identify as female won a total of 15 state track championships in the female division.
Sen. Warren Daniel, a Republican, asserted that the “NCAA has proved that they are not capable of protecting women’s sports.”
“So the states are starting to do it. I’m glad they are,” Daniel said.
Sawyer named 17 biological males who have won female championships worldwide. The list included Lia Thomas, who won an NCAA Division I national championship last year in the women’s 500-yard freestyle. Thomas is biologically male.
Sylvia Hatchell, former coach of the University of North Carolina women’s basketball team, also spoke out in favor of the bill. Allowing biological males to play on collegiate female teams, she said, takes scholarships away from women.
The bill, she said, would “make things fair and equal and make it a level playing field.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League said he didn’t get an opportunity to speak to the legislation when it was heard in committee.
“Unfortunately, I have been in and out this session because of poor health,” Creech said. “I respectfully submit that we cannot operate our many private or public institutions, not even a social institution such as sports, on what’s subjective. Although not always acknowledged, objective truth remains constant in every generation. It’s not an attack on any group when we differentiate accordingly. Fairness requires that we do so. I am not of a minority race; neither am I poor, no matter how much I might believe or declare otherwise. Therefore, society in general, and the state specifically, does right not to concede to me certain privileges that should only be due to others. Lawmakers act no less reasonably by supporting a bill of this nature.”