The West Virginia House of Delegates has approved legislation that would require student athletes to present a birth certificate or signed physician’s statement verifying their sex matches the one of the single-sex sports league they’re seeking to enter.
The legislation was sent on Thursday to the state Senate, where Republicans control the chamber. In the House, it overwhelmingly passed along a 78-20 vote.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already vowed to sue over the bill if it becomes law. On its website, it describes the bill as “discrimination against transgender students.”
The legislation comes amid a nationwide struggle over the future of women’s sports and whether individuals who identify as “transgender” can compete on single-sex teams. Legislation on the issue has nearly doubled this year with 42 bills introduced in 26 states. Republicans say it is a robust response to President Biden’s executive order aimed at preventing discrimination on the basis of gender identity, allowing students to compete against those of the sex they identify as.
That order argued that “[c]hildren should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room or school sports.”
Mississippi passed legislation this month maintaining that “[a]thletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or ‘girls’ shall not be open to students of the male sex.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has come under fire for opposing a similar law passed by her state’s legislature, which sought to require verification for a student’s age and “biological sex, as ascertained at or before birth in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology.” It also included a requirement to verify that “the student is not taking and has not taken, during the preceding 12 months, any performance enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids.”
Noem returned the bill, saying its “vague and overly broad language could have significant unintended consequences.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.
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