The Ohio House of Representatives last week passed a bill that would require genital checks, a genetic test, and blood work to check hormone levels if a student-athlete’s gender is called into question, though the Senate won’t necessarily move to pass the same version, reports Cleveland.com.
Senate President Matt Huffman said Tuesday the chamber would move a bill banning transgender participation in girls’ sports “when we have time to properly vet these policy measures.”
House Bill 151, or the Save Women’s Sports Act, would not allow transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports and would allow a participant “who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation can sue for damages against the school, school district, or interscholastic conference or organization.”
Lawmakers added a last-minute floor amendment that states that if an athlete’s gender is called into question, that the athlete would have to undergo an internal and external exam of reproductive anatomy and have a blood test to determine testosterone levels and genetic makeup.
Huffman declined to weigh in on the controversial language.
“I’m certainly sympathetic to what the bill is trying to do,” Huffman said. “I’m also sympathetic to the people that it might affect. But there is a fundamental fairness issue. And it’s something that should be dealt with.
"With all of these issues, there are nuances, and it’s not just simply this way or that way. And again, that’s why sliding floor amendments into an unrelated bill is a bad thing to do.”
Maria Bruno, policy director for Equality Ohio, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, told Cleveland.com that the House bill would be equally detrimental to non-transgender girls.
“That means any athlete who might beat your daughter or win a championship could be challenged and forced to go through this very invasive process,” Bruno said.
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