NEWS & ANALYSIS

South Carolina Bill Protecting Female Athletes Heads to Governor’s Desk


A South Carolina bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports in public middle and high schools as well as universities is heading to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk for signature. 

The South Carolina Senate made a slight amendment to the bill when passing the measure on May 4th and the House then concurred on the change this week, Just the News reports

The Save Women’s Sports Act would allow those who are female on their birth certificates to compete on male sports teams, but those who are male on their birth certificates may not participate on female sports teams. 

“I feel that, despite the very strong feelings that are evoked and are involved with many in this body, this bill is not anti-trans athletes in my view,” Republican Sen. Penry Gustafson said. “Its focus should be understanding, recognizing and acknowledging the importance of protecting athletic opportunities for biological females in women’s sports. I’m sorry but no one will convince me that a trans athlete on a female sports team does not have a significant and unfair physical advantage over both their teammates and their opposing female athletes.”

The bill requires South Carolina’s sports associations to sanction girls wrestling.

The bill says schools are required to designate what gender a student is on their birth certificate and allows for lawsuits from students who are denied an opportunity because a school or group did not follow the rule. 

It also would allow schools to sue for relief if they receive any direct or indirect harm because of the legislation. Legal actions must take place within two years of the alleged harm occurring. 

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