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South Carolina Lawmakers Debate Transgender Sports Ban Bill

February 24, 2021 / Athletic Administration
South Carolina lawmakers were set to debate a bill that would ban transgender women from playing on women’s sports teams earlier this week.

According to a report from WISNews 10, the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” or H3477, would make it a law in South Carolina that only people born with female anatomy can play on a women’s athletic team at the middle and high school levels.

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Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

The primary sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ashley Trantham (R-Greenville), said trans women competing on a woman’s team are, “absolutely taking opportunities from women,” according to WISNews 10. Campaign for Southern Equality Community Director Ivy Hill, an opponent of the bill, said it was “dehumanizing.”

The Greenville lawmaker said she is not coming to this issue from a place of prejudice and said she has been blessed to work with trans youth at her church.

“It’s not that I’m not compassionate about what they’re going through. But I would also point out, we have to think about how this is going to impact our girls,” Trantham said, according to the report. “I mean they have to be able to have a level playing field and we just know based on the science that when we allow biological males to compete with our girls that we’re taking away that opportunity.”

Trantham stated that the fight for this bill came shortly after the Biden administration put in place an executive order that would allow transgender people to compete in any sport they choose.

The executive order writes, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” according to the White House website.

Trantham also said the South Carolina High School Sports League (SCHSL) put out a memo making a similar statement in 2016. The SCHSL did not respond to the request for comments at the time of publication.

Hill responded by stating Trantham’s assessment of the situation was wrong and sexist, adding that lawmakers shouldn’t be making these decisions and that medical experts and individual schools should, WISNews 10 reported.

“You’re telling them that they’re not really a woman even though they are. And your body changes when you transition. Those things…they change your muscle mass and all of that,” Hill said, according to the news report.

“We know that trans youth are already at a greater risk for suicide, depression, [and] anxiety. We know that sports give kids an opportunity to build and learn lessons about teamwork, about self-discipline, about success and failure, and that it’s generally good for their mental and physical health,” Hill said. “So that we will be excluding youth who are already, much more vulnerable part of our population is shameful.”

To read the full article from WISNews 10 on South Carolina discussing a bill that would ban transgender women from competing in women’s high school sports statewide, click here