COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced Tuesday that he had signed a law banning transgender girls from participating in sports — the same day as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
“The Save Women’s Sports Act is now the law of the land in South Carolina,” McMaster tweeted. “We have to do everything we can to protect the young men and women in our state who choose to pursue athletic competition, and that’s why I proudly signed this bill into law yesterday.”
A second tweet in the thread reads, “It’s common sense, boys should play boys sports and girls should play girls sports.”
The act is one of dozens of new pieces of legislation the governor has signed into law this week.
Under the newly signed law, athletes must play under the team designed for the sex that is listed on their birth certificate. It specifically targets sports teams for girls. The bill applies to public schools that receive state funds.
The bill was introduced in the South Carolina House of Representatives on Jan. 11, and was passed by the Senate on May 10 in a 70-33 vote.
Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State commemorated the international holiday.
“Too many LGBTQI+ persons live under the shadow of discrimination, violence, and fear,” an announcement reads. “Global data makes clear that the dehumanization of LGBTQI+ persons is systemic, pervasive, and often violent. Homophobia, biphobia, interphobia, and transphobia are deeply entrenched in societies across the world, including here in the United States. Countless persons are at extreme risk for being themselves.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has called bans as laws that “discriminate against trans youth in ways that compromise their health, social and emotional development and safety,” and that “they also raise a host of privacy concerns.”
“The organizations leading these attacks on trans athletes’ rights are the same organizations that pushed false myths about trans people in restrooms,” a post by the organization reads. “Just like it was never about restrooms, today’s fight is not about sports. It’s about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life. It’s about creating ‘solutions’ to ‘problems’ that don’t exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable young people in the country. Meanwhile, leading advocates for women’s sports support inclusion of women and girls who are transgender and warn that these efforts will ultimately harm all athletes in women’s sports.”
South Carolina joins other states — mostly controlled by conservative lawmakers — to implement such bans.