The Lia Thomas story sparked a lot of discussion about transgender athletes and the integrity of competition in women’s sports. That’s resulted in numerous states exploring legislation to address the topic, and here in Pennsylvania, the House just passed a bill that would ban athletes like Thomas from competing on women’s sports teams.
From Marley Parish, Stephen Caruso, and Cassie Miller at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star:
The Pennsylvania House has passed a veto-bound bill banning transgender women from competing on women’s school sports teams.
The bill, which addresses a top issue for social conservatives in the lead up to the 2022 election, passed the Republican-controlled lower chamber by a vote of 115-84 on Tuesday afternoon. Most Republicans voted yes; most Democrats no, with a handful of defections.
It now heads to the state Senate, although it has little chance of becoming law. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has already promised to veto the bill, and has never had a veto overridden since taking office in 2015.
Philadelphia’s Martina White, who reps the Bustleton/Somerton area of the northeast, is a co-sponsor of the bill, which is dubbed the “Protect Women’s Sports Act.” It was introduced by a Republican woman and all of the co-sponsors are Republican women, “all of whom are former athletes,” according to the story. That seems noteworthy because the typical thought is that old white dudes are trying to run the show and tell everybody what to do, which is not necessarily the case in this scenario, or at least not what the outward optics are displaying.
The PA Senate introduced a companion bill, though as the story notes, Governor Wolf will veto and overriding does not look likely.
As we noted in past versions of the Lia Thomas story, the NCAA actually punted responsibility on the transgender qualification guidelines to the individual governing bodies of each sport, rather than take on the issue themselves. There are suggestions that maybe this should be something the PIAA handles, but right now we have bills being sent to the House and Senate in an effort to legislate on the transgender topic.
Keep an eye on this, because it’s not just a Pennsylvania thing. There are 13 states with these rules already in place, and similar bills were introduced in New Jersey nd a handful of other spots. Big topic right now.