South Carolina Bans Biological Male Athletes from Women’s Sports
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signs bill into state law
South Carolina has passed a new law that bans biological male transgender athletes from competing in women's sports events.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed the bill into state law this week after it passed in the House and Senate.
The bill effectively limits students in the state to only compete in sports teams corresponding with the gender listed on their birth certificate.
McMaster was keen to join the chorus of states that have banned biological males from female sports and had previously signaled his willingness to sign the piece of legislation.
"I think the girls ought to play girls and the boys ought to play boys," the governor said earlier this month.
"That’s the way we’ve always done it."
Asked if he meant biological boys, Gov. McMaster responded, “Are there any other kind?”
McMaster previously signaled his support when he criticized the NCAA for barring states that protect women’s sports from hosting championships.
"I think the NCAA ought to mind their own business,” McMaster said.
"If they want to pass laws they need to run for office.”
Opponents of the bill denounced the new law as a cruel act of bigotry against LGBTQ students.
“Transgender youth are not a threat to fairness in sports, and this law now needlessly stigmatizes young people who are simply trying to navigate their adolescence, make friends, and build skills like teamwork and leadership, winning and losing,” said activist Ivy Hill.
The bill passed the South Carolina House in April before it was voted on by the state Senate.
South Carolina Democrats naturally opposed the bill, saying Republicans were unfairly picking on transgender kids.
"Leave these transgender kids alone,” said Democrat state Representative Krystle Matthews.
"There are less than one percent of them."
Likewise, the LGBTQ activist organization Human Rights Campaign (HRC) condemned the bill passing the South Carolina House.
“Although the Bill is titled: 'Save Women’s Sports Act,' the South Carolina House has done everything except create an equal footing for women in sports,” the group said in a statement.
“If this was about upholding equality for women, why did the House vote down an amendment that would guarantee equal funding of men’s and women’s sports in South Carolina?” it added.
"That’s in addition to rejecting an amendment that would require women’s sports to have the same number of assistant coaches and amenities as men’s teams."
In early February, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill restricting biological males from competing in women’s sports up through college. Speaking with Fox News, she said the law is about “leveling the playing field.”
“It is true that your girls will have a level playing field,” she said.
“They will get the chance to compete only against other biological females, as reflected on their birth certificate because we want them to have a chance to be successful.”
In March, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill that will require athletes to compete on school, college, and university sports teams corresponding to their biological sex, which was followed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signing a similar bill into law.