South Carolina became the seventeenth state on Tuesday to pass legislation preventing gender dysphoric males from participating in female sports at the K-12 and university levels.
H.4608, the Save Women’s Sports Act, was signed by Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, requiring middle school, high school, and college student athletes to play in sports leagues based on their birth certificates’ sex.
Republican state legislatures have proposed similar legislation, claiming that males have innate biological advantages over females and that allowing male athletes to compete against female athletes is unjust.
Males who identify as female would be prohibited from competing against women and girls under the rule. In comments made after the Senate passed the bill earlier this month, state Senator Richard Cash (R), who helped carry the proposal through the legislature, said it was vital to maintain equal chances for female athletes
According to Cash, the rule will safeguard individuals who are naturally female but identify as female from having to compete against those who are biologically male but identify as female.
Democrats said that the rule was unnecessary and that those who advocated for limiting transgender athletes to sports teams of their natal sex were discriminatory and nasty.
Transgender youth are not a threat to sports fairness, according to Ivy Hill, Executive Director of Gender Benders and Community Health Program Director of Campaign for Southern Equality, and this law now stigmatizes young people who are simply trying to navigate their adolescence, make friends, and develop skills like teamwork and leadership, while winning and losing.
Prior to the Save Women’s Sports Act, the High School League of South Carolina made case-by-case determinations about whether gender dysphoric adolescents should play on girls or boys teams, with less than a half-dozen examples each year.