“We’re not often heard,” Cynthia Monteleone told a trio of female senators Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill. “Though we are just three of thousands that this is happening to.”
Monteleone is a world champion track athlete who competed against a transgender competitor in the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Málaga, Spain. Dressed in a white pantsuit with a fresh tropical flower tucked behind her ear, she spent Wednesday and Thursday urging Republican lawmakers to fight back against biological males competing in women’s sports.
A biologically male middle school student may run on a girl’s cross country team this fall in spite of West Virginia’s new law banning biological males from women’s sports, U.S. Circuit Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled Wednesday.
Lawyers from the ACLU-West Virginia had argued that HB 3293 would unfairly prevent the 11-year-old student, Becky Pepper-Jackson, from participating on a girls cross country team.
Goodwin issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday allowing Pepper-Jackson to “sign up for and participate in school athletics in the same way as her girl classmates.”
A biologically male runner has been banned from the women’s 400-meter Olympic hurdle event because the runner did not meet the World Athletics conditions on testosterone levels.
“CeCe [Telfer] has turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train,” the transgender athlete’s manager said, the Associated Press reported, adding that Telfer will respect the decision. “She will compete on the national — and world — stage again soon.”
Transgender runner Telfer won the NCAA title competing for a women’s team in 2019, according to the AP.
Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have banned biological males from women’s sports.
“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” the governor said in a statement, according to the Associated Press, adding that “even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue” in Louisiana.
Louisiana’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would have prohibited biological males from participating in female intercollegiate, interscholastic, or intramural athletic sports “that receive state funding.”
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday banning biological males from women’s sports.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act prohibits biological males from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for female students and requires that a student’s school or institution “request a certain health examination and consent form or other statement from the student’s health care provider to verify the student’s biological sex under certain circumstances.”
“The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis tweeted Tuesday. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”
President Joe Biden’s administration and the Department of Justice are reportedly preparing to challenge bills banning biological males from women’s sports, multiple sources told the Daily Beast.
“We are having conversations with the Biden administration about additional actions that they should be taking as it relates to anti-LGBTQ bills that we’re seeing in these states,” Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Alphonso David told the Daily Beast. “But we want to make sure we don’t lose sight of how important those words are, and how important his early actions have been to support and protect LGBTQ people throughout the country.”
The governor of Kansas has vetoed a bill that would have banned biological males from participating in women’s sports.
Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” Thursday, saying in a news release that the legislation “sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide,” according to local outlet KMBC.
“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.”
The governor of West Virginia signaled that he will not veto a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.
Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed HB 3293 during a coronavirus briefing Wednesday saying that he would either “let it become law or sign it,” according to The Hill. The governor also said that he would “absolutely not” veto the bill, the publication reported.
“From the standpoint of how I feel about it personally… I just can’t possibly get through my head that it is the right thing for us at a middle school level or a high school level in our state for me not to support the bill,” Justice said, according to the Hill. “So, I do support the bill.”
Florida Republicans are advancing bills banning transgender athletes from women’s and girls’ sports despite – perhaps, in spite of – potential corporate criticism and likely sanctions by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
“I certainly couldn’t care less,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, said Wednesday after the House approved the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act in a 77-40 vote after a four-hour debate in which 18 amendments were rejected.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, House Bill 1475, filed by Rep. Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, would enact a blanket ban on transgender athletes competing as women in Florida. Transgender athletes could still compete in men’s sports.
The NCAA signaled that it may pull championship games from places that stop biological males from competing in women’s sports.
The collegiate sports league released a statement on Monday reaffirming that it supports “the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports,” which is grounded in the value of “fair competition.”
“The NCAA has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports,” continues the statement. “Our approach — which requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports — embraces the evolving science on this issue and is anchored in participation policies of both the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.”
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) signed a bill into law on Thursday that banned so-called “transgender” athletes from competing in sports for women and girls, as reported by ABC News.
Hutchinson’s office released a statement addressing the new law, declaring that “this law simply says that female athletes should not have to compete in a sport against a student of the male sex when the sport is designed for women’s competition…I agree with the intention of this law. This will help promote and maintain fairness in women’s sporting events.”
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill into law Thursday barring transgender athletes in public schools and colleges from competing in women’s sports.
The bill, SB 2536, is the first of such legislation to be signed into law this year, though similar initiatives have appeared in other states across the country. South Dakota’s Senate sent a similar bill to the desk of Republican Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday.
More than 300 female athletes are speaking out in support of Idaho’s decision to protect women’s sports from biological men.
Female professional, Olympic, and National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes on July 29 sent a letter to the NCAA board of governors asking it to reject calls from LGBT activists to boycott Idaho over its new law protecting women’s athletics from participation by transgender biological males.
“We do not want to watch our athletic achievements be erased from the history books by individuals with all the inherent athletic advantages that come from a male body,” Save Women’s Sports wrote in its letter.
American Principles Project and SPRY Strategies released polling results this week from 10 presidential election battleground states. In the July 2020 survey, on average 74.8 percent of voters said, “No” and only 25.2 percent said, “Yes” when asked: “Should boys and men who say they identify as transgender be allowed to compete in girls’ and women’s athletics?”