AZ, OK Governors Sign Legislation Banning Trans Girls From Female Sports

  • Transgender individuals have been targeted by legislation nationwide, particularly transgender female athletes.
  • Arizona and Oklahoma signed bills into law Wednesday prohibiting transgender girls from playing on female sports teams.
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also approved legislation that prohibits gender reassignment surgery for minors.

Two Republican-led states on Wednesday joined a conservative movement of enacting legislation targeting the transgender community.

Both Oklahoma and Arizona have passed bills into law that will ban transgender girls and women from female sports.

“When it comes to sports and athletics: Girls should compete against girls. Boys should compete against boys,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said at the signing of the “Save Women’s Sports” Act, according to NBC News. “Let’s be very clear — that’s all this bill says.”

“We are protecting women’s sports. We’re ensuring a level playing field for female athletes who work hard to train hard, who are committed to their team, who have dreams to be No. 1 in their sport, who deserve a fair competition, he continued. “The reality is, men are biologically different than women.”

NBC News reported that a dozen other states, including Arizona, have signed similar laws banning transgender girls from participation on female sports teams.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a series of other bills into law Wednesday, including legislation banning transgender girls from female sports teams and another that prohibits gender reassignment surgery for minors.

“Today I signed SB 1138 and SB 1165, legislation to protect participation and fairness for female athletes, and to ensure that individuals undergoing irreversible gender reassignment surgery are of adult age,” Ducey said in a memo Wednesday. “This legislation is common-sense and narrowly-targeted to address these two specific issues — while ensuring that transgender individuals continue to receive the same dignity, respect, and kindness as every individual in our society.”

“Every young Arizona athlete should have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities that give them a sense of belonging and allow them to grow and thrive,” Ducey said while signing the bill on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

The new laws in Arizona and Oklahoma follows Republican state leaders across the country enacting legislation targeting the transgender community, alongside other LGBTQ+ community members. In Florida, state Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law on Tuesday, restricting discussions of gender and sexuality in classrooms from kindergarten to third grade.

Advocates have condemned other laws targeting the transgender community — such as the one in Texas, which allows for investigation into parents and caregivers for providing children with gender-affirming care — as “monstrous” and “immoral,” Insider previously reported.

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