(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images) HARRISBURG - A Republican proposal to prevent transgender girls from competing in girls' school sports passed the Pennsylvania House Education Committee on Tuesday, over Democratic opposition.The 15-9 party-line vote advanced the "Save Women's Sports Act" bill so it can be considered by the GOP-majority chamber.
It would restrict players to male or female teams based on their reproductive organs, biology or genetics at birth.The bill says athletic teams designated for women or girls may not be open to "students of the male sex," and would give students and schools a route to sue, including against athletic organizations.
It covers K-12 school teams, college sports, intramurals and club teams sponsored by school entities."No one should be forcing biological females to compete against biological males," said bill cosponsor Rep.
Martina White, R-Philadelphia, before the vote. "It is patently wrong and unfair."In a co-sponsorship memo issued early a year ago, White and four other Republican women in the House argued that "allowing biological males to complete in girls sports" reverses some five decades of advancement toward equal athletic opportunities for women.Republican governors in Utah and Indiana this month vetoed legislation to ban transgender players from girls' sports, as the chief executives said bans address a problem that is virtually nonexistent in their states and a distraction to broader efforts toward a conservative agenda.