Kentucky Senate advances bill to bar biological males from playing female sports

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The Kentucky Senate voted Wednesday to advance a measure which would require older students in the state to play on teams based on their biological sex.

In a 27-8 vote, Republican lawmakers in the state were able to pass Senate Bill 83, which prevents pubescent transgender boys and girls from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity, not their gender assigned at birth.

Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky on July 29, 2019.
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Sponsored by Republican state Sen. Robby Mills, the proposed legislation would direct the Kentucky High School Athletics Association to craft regulations requiring schools who participate in statewide athletics to define their athletic teams, activities and sports on the biological sex of the students who participate, as well as prohibit biological male students from participating in athletic teams, activities and sports defined as “girls.”

Presenting the bill on the Senate floor, Mills said, “The sex of the student shall be determined by the student’s biological sex as indicated on the student’s certified birth certificate, as originally issued at the time of birth.”

Mills also highlighted the differences in biological males and females, concluding that transgender females “have advantages even after testosterone suppression.”

“An Australian study showed that a 9-year-old male was faster on short sprints by 9.8%, and in a mile run by 16.6%,” he said. “Male athletes still have advantages even after testosterone suppression. Hormone therapy in males after puberty does not substantially eliminate the male athletic advantage.”

State senators amended the bill on Wednesday to allow children in elementary school to play on teams that match their gender identity.

The measure, which does not apply to collegiate sports in the state, will now make its way to the state House where it is expected to pass under a Republican majority. Should the bill makes its way through both Republican-controlled chambers, it will be sent to Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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