Ohio anti-trans bill would require doctors to certify gender in student sports

  • Transgender girls would be banned from competing in Ohio school or college sports under a bill passed by the House GOP.
  • People could also accuse student-athletes of being transgender under the bill.
  • Under the law, students would have to prove their gender by having a doctor certify their genitals.

Under a new anti-transgender bill passed this week by House Republican lawmakers in Ohio, transgender girls would be banned from competing in school or college sports in the state — and if a student is accused of being transgender, a doctor will have to prove their biological sex.

And despite Republicans’ claims the bill was designed to protect “girls’ dreams of being a gold medal-winning athlete,” Ohio advocates and athlete organizations say it doesn’t. there is only one transgender girl currently competing in high school sports.

If Bill 151 is approved by the state senate and signed into law, people could accuse student-athletes of being transgender, forcing them to have a doctor certify their genitals, hormone levels, or genetic.

The proposal was slipped into an unrelated education bill by GOP lawmakers at the eleventh hour on Wednesday, according to News 5 Cleveland.

All House Republicans voted in favor of the bill – which was sponsored by Republican State Rep. Don Jones – while all Democrats opposed it.

The invoice statements that “no school, interscholastic conference, or organization that regulates interscholastic athletics shall permit male individuals to participate in sports teams or sports competitions restricted to female participants.”

If a student-athlete’s gender “is disputed,” the bill says, the student “must establish ‘their gender’ by submitting a signed medical statement indicating the participant’s gender.”

Under the bill, this would be based on the students’ “internal and external reproductive anatomy”, their “normal levels of endogenously produced testosterone”, as well as “an analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup”.

The bill does not limit when a charge can be laid, raising the possibility that a charge could be laid against cisgender athletes during competition.

The legislation targets transgender girls, but according to Equality Ohio and the Ohio High School Athletic Association, there is only one transgender girl in Ohio who currently participates in high school sports, News 5 Cleveland reported.

Still, House Republicans said their support for the bill was justified.

“I’m passionate about this issue because we can’t allow the girls’ dreams of being a gold medal athlete to be dashed by biological men who steal their opportunity,” Republican State Rep. Jena said. Powell, according to News 5 Cleveland.

Democrats like State Rep. Beth Liston have condemned the bill’s passage.

“This legislation is just plain sick,” Liston said in a statement. “No child should be forced to undergo ‘genital inspections’ in order to play sports.”

Liston said forcing students to have their internal and external reproductive anatomy inspected is “a very scary and borderline assault.”

“The sexual development of our children is not Ohio House’s business,” Liston said. “My fellow Republicans need to keep their hands off our kids.”