By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
October 28, 2021
This week Texas became the latest state to ban transgender girls from participating in women’s sports in public schools. H.B. 25 is scheduled to take effect as early as January 18, 2022.
According to The New York Times, as many as ten states have now “enacted legislation to ban or limit athletic participation by transgender students,” one of which did so by executive order. Three other states – Kansas, Louisiana, and North Dakota- passed such measures, but were later vetoed by their governors. This year, as many as twenty-three states considered “save women’s sports” type legislation.
“I think we will only see more of this kind of legislation across the U.S.,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
“Two primary reasons for it have to do with fairness. When biological males enter into female athletics, although they think of themselves as girls, generally speaking, their brawn, naturally aggressive natures, and superior strength endanger the safety of females. Moreover, it’s been noted that participation by transgender girls, who are biologically male, inhibits equal opportunities for biologically female girls. I think our legislature missed an opportunity to address this issue during this legislative session. I was sorely disappointed at that,” he added.
Rev. Creech was referencing H.B. 358 – The Save Women’s Sports Act, which was filed back in March and championed by Rep. Mark Brody (R-Anson). The bill had three other primary sponsors and as many as 43 co-sponsors. It received a hearing in the House Judiciary 1 Committee, but no vote was allowed. It was later referred to the House Rules Committee, where it remains presumably to die a quiet death.
According to UNC’s School of Government, the legislation would have required “express designation based on biological sex of all athletic teams for middle and secondary students participating in interscholastic or intramural athletic activities by a public-school unit as one of the following: (1) males, men, or boys; (2) females, women, or girls; or (3) coed or mixed.” It would have mandated that “athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls not be open to students of the male sex.” It would have required “recognition of sex based on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth only.” It would have “prohibited governmental entities, licensing or accrediting organizations, or athletic associations or organizations from considering a complaint, investigating, or taking an adverse action against a school or public-school unit for maintaining separate athletic teams or sports for students of the female sex.”
Speaker Tim Moore, however, panned the measure, telling the Raleigh News and Observer he didn’t believe a “wise legislature” goes out “looking for social issues to tap.” He argued there were no examples of where there was a problem.
“I’m a believer that you shouldn’t pass legislation unless there’s a problem you are trying to address,” said the Speaker. “I mean, obviously, these things can spin up and get really controversial and all of that. So, you know, before you go down that road, there needs to be, I would say, an articulated problem.”
Rep. Brody, however, noted during the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the measure that he had clear evidence there was a transgender girl’s sports issue in the state. Furthermore, he said if legislators didn’t think the evidence he had was sufficient, there was nothing wrong with putting forward a bill before it became a problem.
“I didn’t agree with Speaker Moore then,” said Rev. Creech. “The General Assembly has approved matters of much lesser import without hesitation as a preventive in the past. The real problem with the proposal was that there was too much angst over what happened with H.B. 2, commonly known as the Bathroom Bill. The Speaker, as well as other members of the House, didn’t have the stomach for that kind of fight again, at least anytime soon.”
However, Creech contended that since ten states had now passed legislation to prohibit transgender athletes from girls’ sports, perhaps the North Carolina House and Senate leadership should be emboldened to do the same.
The legislature is expected to remain in Raleigh for a few weeks more before shutting down the Long Session.
“I’ll tell you this,” Rev. Creech said demonstrably. “It would be terribly disillusioning to conservative evangelicals if the leadership directed legislation adverse to their values to be taken up before adjourning, more specifically, legislation for the legalization of medical marijuana and sports gambling, after not having seriously considered and passed ‘The Save Women’s Sports Act.’ That would be a stain that just wouldn’t rub off.”