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Indiana lawmakers are gearing up to debate a bill that would prevent transgender girls from competing in girls’ scholastic sports.
“This legislation is the result of listening to the concerns of female student-athletes and parents in my district and across the state. The purpose of this bill is to protect fair competition in girls’ sports,” Republican state Rep. Michelle Davis of Whiteland, the bill’s author, said in a statement, as FOX 59 of Indianapolis reported.
The proposal comes after new scientific studies show transgender athletes hold advantages over biologically female athletes, which has also prompted entities, including the NCAA, to change its transgender policies.
The issue gained national attention with the exploits of Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania who competes in the Ivy League.
“What we support is making sure that women’s sports are reserved for females, while still allowing every student the opportunity to play on men’s teams or coed teams,” said Matt Sharp, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who has announced support for House Bill 1041, FOX 59 reported.
Sharp said the scientific studies show these transgender athletes do not complete on a level playing field.
“What science shows us is that there are differences between males and females,” Sharp said, according to the report. “Those differences range from faster hitting speeds and running speeds.”
But, the bill has its critics.
“To categorically ban trans people essentially from participating in school sports according to their gender is unconstitutional on its face,” said Kit Malone, an advocacy strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, FOX 59 reported.
The House education committee is expected to have a public hearing on the bill on Jan 31.
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