(CNS News) -- As many other state legislatures are doing, GOP lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly introduced legislation this week to protect girls' sports by prohibiting transgender "females" (biological males) from playing on girls' teams.
The "Save Women's Sports Act" was introduced on Mar. 22 by GOP House Reps. Mark Brody, Pat McElraft, Jimmy Dixon, and Diane Wheatley. The legislation is designed "to protect the opportunities for women and girls in athletics by ensuring women are not forced to compete against men playing on women's sports teams."
If the bill becomes law, the sports teams at all North Carolina public middle schools and high schools would be based on "biological sex." The teams would be either male, female, or coed. "Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex," reads HB 358. "Sex shall be recognized based solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth."
Private schools in the state would have to comply with the law, if they are a member of any state-level athletic association.
The law would also apply to colleges and universities, and it would protect them from lawsuits filed by any intercollegiate athletic programs, such as the NCAA, which might object to sports teams based on biological sex.
The legislation explains that there are "inherent differences between men and women" and these differences "range from chromosomal and hormonal differences to physiological differences."
"[M]en generally have 'denser, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments' and 'larger hearts, greater lung volume per body mass, a higher red blood cell count, and higher hemoglobin,'" reads the bill.
It further states, "men also have higher natural levels of testosterone, which affects traits such as hemoglobin levels, body fat content, the storage and use of carbohydrates, and the development of Type 2 muscle fibers, all of which result in men being able to generate higher speed and power during physical activity.
"... [A]s Duke Law professor and all-American track athlete Doriane Coleman, tennis champion Martina Navratilova and Olympic track gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross recently wrote: 'The evidence is unequivocal that starting in puberty, in every sport except sailing, shooting and riding, there will always be significant numbers of boys and men who would beat the best girls and women in head-to-head competition. Claims to the contrary are simply a denial of science."
"[H]aving separate sex-specific teams furthers efforts to promote sex equality," reads the legislation. "Sex-specific teams accomplish this by providing opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their skill, strength, and athletic abilities while also providing them with opportunities to obtain recognition and accolades, college scholarships, and the numerous other long-term benefits that flow from success in athletic endeavors."
Equality NC, a pro-LGBTQ organization, said in a statement on its website, "HB 358 is rooted in invasive and inappropriate questions about the sex assigned to young people at birth and outdated generalizations about male and female bodies. Trans youth belong on sports teams in alignment with their gender identity."
"[P]oliticians want to limit the ability of young trans folks to experience camaraderie and teamwork at a crucial developmental stage of life. It’s up to all LGBTQ people to show up for trans youth right now when they need us most," said the organization.
Rep. Mark Brody (R), one of the bill's primary sponsors, said on Tuesday, “I do not want to wait until biological females are pushed out of female sports, and all of their records are broken, scholarships lost and benefits of excelling are diminishing before this is addressed."