West Virginia Governor Signs Bill Barring Biological Males From Participating in Female Sports

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Last week, West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice signed into law the latest in a wave of legislation across the nation that restricts athletic programs meant for women and girls to biological females alone.

The West Virginia Mail Gazette reported that Justice signed the legislation, slammed by critics as anti-transgender, on the last day for him to sign legislation passed by the state legislature’s 2021 regular session.

“Let me be clear: federal law protects our transgender children from discrimination, and this anti-transgender athlete ban will not stand,” Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider said in a statement the day the bill was signed by Governor Justice.

“Transgender children are worthy of love and support. They deserve the chance to learn and grow in the classroom and on the field,” he stated, also slamming the legislation as “unconstitutional.”

Justice, for his part, had said on Monday of last week that he would “proudly” sign the bill.

Under the law, women’s and girls’ sports from kindergarten through college are restricted to participants who are biologically female. It does not restrict biological females from playing on athletic teams designated for biological males, however, but would require any athlete on a girls’ or women’s team verify their gender if it is suspected they are male.

West Virginia joins Idaho, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Dakota as the latest state to enact legislation restricting women and girls’ sports to biological females.

2021 has been a record year for such legislation, as well as legislation that seeks to ban transgender treatments and surgeries for minors.

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