Second version of the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ fails in SC House Judiciary Committee

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A second version of the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’, H. 4153, failed in the House Judiciary Committee. The measure would require middle and high schools in the state to identify their sports teams based on biological gender as male, female or co-ed. This all comes as an effort to keep transgender females from playing on women’s teams.

Advocates for trans-youth said that the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ failing was a huge win for the community, but even having the bill introduced was largely invalidating. They said this bill is about more than a game; it’s about community and acceptance.  

Ivy Hill, the Executive Director of Gender Benders and leader in the SC United for Justice & Equity Coalition, said playing sports taught them to teamwork, leadership, how to win and lose gracefully. 

They said sports allowed them to build critical life skills, and bill H.4153 was an attack on those who do not wish to identify themselves just yet.

Hill explained, that hearing your body, and your life and existence, and your dignity being debated by people who don’t understand is difficult. And very simply—trans girls are girls. 

Those who wanted the legislation to move forward believed there was a danger in allowing transwomen to compete with cis women.

Meg Goettsches, an Adjunct Instructor in Women and Gender Studies/African Studies for the College of Charleston and an LGBTQ+ Co-Conspirator, said, “these kinds of bills that are coming out are effectively saying that if we allow trans people to play—then we are letting a fox go into a hen house.”

However, Goettsches said the idea of those for the bill is not substantiated with evidence and leads down a slippery slope. “We have no evidence that this is a fox. We have no evidence of trans athletes injuring cis athletes in higher numbers. We don’t have evidence for this. This isn’t about protecting women, this about controlling women, all women.”

While Goettsches said she too is happy about the failed measure but believes this is not the end. 

According to the SC United for Justice & Equity Coalition and the AFFA, last month, a companion bill to H.4153 and H.3477 was introduced in the Senate, where it remains in committee. In a release the groups stated that lawmakers introduced H.4047 in March that would prohibit transgender people under the age of 18 from receiving essential medical care.

The bill would make it a felony for medical professionals to provide transition-related care to transgender minors. A conviction could result in up to a 20-year prison sentence for the medical provider. These bills could be reconsidered in 2022. 

A message to Trans-Youth:

For resources in the Charleston area, click here.

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