On Thursday, the Republican-controlled Alabama Legislature approved a bill that would ban K-12 biological males from playing on female sports teams.
According to the Associated Press, the Senate passed the bill in a 25-6 vote. In a 76-13 vote, the House approved the bill, accepting minor changes made to it in the Senate.
The bill will now go to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk. She has yet to say whether she will sign the bill.
The legislation was met with support and opposition as the battle over trans athletes on female sports teams continues.
Opponents of the bill say transgender girls have an unfair advantage in competition because they are born bigger and faster. Meanwhile, proponents argue that the bill is rooted in discrimination, fear and violates federal law allowing sex discrimination in education.
At the start of the debate in the Senate, Republican Sen. Garlan Gudger of Cullman stressed the importance of the bill in protecting “the integrity of women’s athletics.”
“I think it is unfair for biological males to compete and beat females in high school sports. There are biological advantages that men possess just naturally because of genetics,” Gudger said.
But Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton says that the bill is essentially unneeded and will give Alabama a “black eye” in light of the state’s recruitment of industries and sporting events to the state.
“We are spending too much time on craziness like this,” Singleton contended.
At present, over a dozen states are considering restrictions on transgender athletes or transgender medical treatments for transgender minors.
On Monday, the NCAA, which regulates college athletics, issued a statement warning that it will pull championship events from states with bills prohibiting trans athletes from participating in women’s sports.