CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The South Carolina Senate has the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ in its hands after the South Carolina House passed the bill 82 to 28 on Tuesday.
The bill’s aim is to limit transgender athletes to only being able to play on teams that match their sex at birth.
This would apply to athletes and sports teams in middle school, high school and college.
District 112 Representative Joe Bustos voted for the bill.
“I think that the ladies and the women deserve to have an equal chance,” said Representative Bustos. “It literally levels the playing field for the athletes so they can compete against their own gender.”
Supporters of the bill, including Representative Bustos, said that it will “maintain opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and athletic abilities.”
District 115 Representative Spencer Wetmore voted against the bill. She argues that the bill would make transgender students the target of bullying.
“The value of being a part of a team and the lessons learned in high school and middle school sports are so much more important,” said Representative Wetmore. “By excluding some of their classmates and by saying that your friends can’t be on your team because she is transgender of course that hurts women’s sports.”
Activist groups for transgender rights say that they will keep fighting for the bill to not become law even though the latest vote is a loss.
“(The bill) will have a subcommittee hearing where we’ll be trying to strike it down. It’ll have a full committee meeting where we’ll try to strike it down,” said Ivy Hill, the Executive Director of Gender Benders.