COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — A panel of South Carolina lawmakers took up the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ Tuesday morning.
A House Judiciary subcommittee listened to testimony from members of the LGBTQ community, female athletes and legal experts on the bill.
Right now, there is no documented state policy on transgender athlete participation in South Carolina according to the state’s High School League handbook.
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Ashley Trantham (R-District 28) said a 2016 memo from the league allows biological males to participate in women’s sports.
She told the subcommittee, “South Carolina has a proud history of cultivating talented female athletes,” she went on to say, “Unfortunately, the next generation of female athletes may not have those same chances to compete in sports.”
H.3477 would require middle and high schools in the state to identify their teams or sports as male, female or coed. Somebody of the male sex would not be allowed play on the female team.
Macy Petty is a college volleyball player from South Carolina. She said, “If there is a choice to pick which gender you choose to play – the lines between sports will dissolve.”
She said when her club volleyball team played against coed teams, males had an advantage during the matches.
Critics, like the Alliance for Full Acceptance, said the bill is discriminatory. Executive Director Chase Glenn said, “The so called ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ is unnecessary, it’s unenforceable and it’s dangerous.”
Glenn said excluding transgender athletes from sports could be detrimental to their mental health. He said, “Repercussions of such a bill could have disastrous implications on trans-youth life way beyond anything that might happen on a sports team.”
LGBTQ advocates said there are no documented cases of transgender athletes in South Carolina winning competitions in girl’s sports.
The subcommittee did not take any action on the bill Tuesday. Another hearing could be scheduled in the near future.