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Ohio becomes latest state to propose transgender sports ban

These proposals make Ohio the latest start to join the national debate over how transgender athletes can compete in high school and college sports.
Credit: WBNS-10TV / Chris Poturalski
File photo - The Ohio Statehouse

Republican lawmakers in Ohio have introduced two bills that would ban transgender girls from participating in female sports teams in high school or college, becoming the latest state to take up the contentious debate.

The proposals, titled the Save Women’s Sports Act, would require schools and higher education institutions in the state to designate “separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex.”

The bills’ sponsors say it is an effort to maintain fairness and protect the integrity in women’s sports in Ohio, but none of the lawmakers have pointed to a single instance where this has been an issue in the state.

These proposals make Ohio the latest start to join the national debate over how transgender athletes can compete in high school and college sports.

Idaho passed its law last year, and more than 20 states have considered such proposals this year. Bans have been enacted in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia. Florida lawmakers passed a bill, and South Dakota’s governor issued an executive order.

But while GOP lawmakers across the country take up the issue, in almost every case, sponsors of the proposals cannot cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems, according to an analysis by The Associated Press in March.