West News Wire: In accordance with legislation passed on Wednesday by the Republican-controlled House, transgender girls in North Carolina would not be permitted to play on female sports teams in middle school, high school, or college. This was one of the Republican-controlled House’s first official acts after gaining a supermajority earlier this month. 

Three Democrats joined 73 Republicans in voting for the bill, which would split sports by biological sex based only on a student’s “reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” Trans girls would not be permitted to participate on any team that matches their gender identity. With the exception of wrestling, trans boys and cisgender girls could only compete on teams reserved for male athletes. 

House Republicans fast-tracked the bill through two committees earlier Wednesday after hearing debate from trans and cisgender student athletes. It now heads to the Senate, where a competing proposal could reach the floor as soon as Thursday. The Senate bill would only create restrictions for middle and high school athletes. 

At least 20 other states have imposed similar limits on trans athletes at the K-12 or collegiate level. The North Carolina bills are among several introduced this month that would impact trans residents, including restrictions on gender-affirming medical procedures for trans youth and criminal penalties for public performances by some “male or female impersonators.” 

Proponents of the House sports bill argue it would preserve opportunities for cisgender girls and protect their safety. But trans kids and their supporters say it’s discrimination disguised as a safety precaution. 

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“This bill is a bill to be inclusive, not to be exclusive,” said Rep. Kristin Baker, a Cabarrus County Republican and primary sponsor. “This bill is to allow fair and particularly safe, physically safe, competition.” 

While sponsors contend the proposal would not permit genital inspections to verify a student’s sex, they did not have an explanation Wednesday for how the policy would be enforced. 

The bill also would give students a right to sue if they’re harmed by a trans student violating the restrictions. 

Baker and other supporters have repeatedly pointed to a volleyball injury in Cherokee County as justification for their claim that trans participation poses an inherent danger to cisgender girls in the state. 

Payton McNabb, a senior at Hiwassee Dam High School in Murphy, suffered a concussion and neck injury after a transgender athlete hit her in the head with a volleyball during a school match last September. McNabb said she still suffers from impaired vision, learning challenges, chronic headaches and partial paralysis on her right side.


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