An Alabama lawmaker has pre-filed legislation that would require public schools to sort students by the gender appearing on their birth certificate when determining what sports they’re allowed to play.
According to Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, the Gender is Real Legislative Act, or (GIRL) bill, would also ban teams from using public facilities if children are competing in single-gender sporting events that don’t align with their gender identified at birth.
In a statement Thursday, Pringle said the bill is aimed at ensuring fair competition among student-athletes.
“Gender is real. There are biological differences between boys and girls that influence athletic performance,” Pringle said. “The GIRL Bill seeks to support female student-athletes, so that they may compete against each other and not have to compete against male students with an unfair advantage.”
Pringle, who is currently running for Alabama’s District 1 U.S. House seat, joins Republicans in other states who’ve filed similar legislation over concerns that transgender women — those who identify as a woman but were born male — would have an athletic advantage over biological females in sports competitions.
A similar bill was introduced in Tennessee last week, though unlike Pringle’s proposal, it ties state funding to compliance with the law and includes civil penalties for violations. Other bills with the same objective have proven to be controversial and have drawn criticism from LGBTQ rights organizations.
However, states that don’t have gender restrictions, like Connecticut, have also faced lawsuits from biological female athletes who claim those policies have led to lost opportunities and scholarships by forcing them to compete with biological males that now identify as female.
Pringle called the bill a common-sense measure based on science.
“Liberal Democrats are always trying to accuse us of refusing science, but gender is a real biological truth,” he said in a statement. “It truly defies logic that anyone would deny science and want male students to compete in female sports.”
According to Pringle’s congressional campaign, The GIRL Act would not impact designated co-ed sporting events.
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