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DeWine Opposes Transgender Student Athlete Ban

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, seen in November, has signed a measure into law that removes a gunowner's need to retreat before using the gun in self-defense.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

House Republicans Attach Transgender Athlete Ban To College Name, Image And Likeness Bill

In a written statement, Gov. Mike DeWine said the issue is best addressed outside of government through agencies like the OHSAA that can tailor policies to meet the needs of athletes and member institutions.

The proposal, titled the Save Women’s Sports Act, would require schools and higher education institutions in the state to designate “separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex.” The bills’ sponsors said it is an effort to maintain fairness and protect the integrity in women’s sports in Ohio.

The bill that would ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports at the high school and college level, which is widely opposed by Democrats, is facing more opposition. This comes just hours after Ohio House Republicans attached the legislation as an amendment to a bill that would allow college athletes to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness. The House then approved the bill.

The association governing Ohio school sports say there are no examples of transgender girls causing issues in competition. Eleven transgender females have been approved to compete by the OHSAA in the last six years.

Melissa Cropper with the Ohio Federation of Teachers said by denying transgender girls participation in sports, the bill would hurt the students, many of whom already face bullying and emotional turmoil. She said it makes it tough for teachers to guide students through difficult situations. Plus, she says it’s not needed.

“The Ohio High School Athletic Association dealt with this issue maybe a decade or so ago so the legislature is creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist," Cropper said.

Supporters of the transgender athlete ban said transgender women have an unfair physiological advantage against women designated female at birth.

Farnoush Amiri
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.