Pennsylvania House passes bill preventing transgender females from competing in female sports

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to pass a measure Tuesday which designates sports in schools across the state by biological sex, prohibiting transgender females from participating in female sports.

In a vote of 115-84, House Bill 972, dubbed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, passed through the House and now moves to the state Senate for consideration. Should the measure successfully pass in a vote by the state Senate, which is debating a similar measure, Senate Bill 1191, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has pledged to veto it.

Pennsylvania’s State Capitol building in Harrisburg.
(Paul Weaver / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

The bill calls for any “public institution of higher education or any school or institution where students or teams compete against a public school entity or public institution of higher education” to designate their sports teams as male, female, or coed. The measure would apply to sports teams in the state that are publicly funded and those who compete against schools who are publicly funded.

The measure specifically states that sports “designated for females, women or girls” should “not be open to students of the male sex.”

Pennsylvania Gov.  Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf
(AP Photo / Julio Cortez)

In a tweet issued Tuesday, Wolf said the “transphobic” legislation would not make it past his desk.

“As states across the country push transphobic legislation, some Republicans in the General Assembly are wasting time attempting the same in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “It will not get past my desk.”

Wolf instead called for the state legislature to pass House Bill 300, known as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act or Fairness Act, which would amend the state’s 1955 Human Relations Act to include protect residents in the state from being discriminated against based on “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression “.

“Women lose out on a fair playing field when forced to compete against biological men,” said Republican state Rep. Barbara Gleim, the bill’s primary sponsor, according to The Daily Item, a Pennsylvania newspaper.

The State Capitol building stands in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US, on Thursday, Oct.  20, 2011.

The State Capitol building stands in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US, on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011.
(Paul Taggart / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Senate Bill 1191, which also calls for “sport activities in public institutions of higher education and public school entities to be expressly designated male, female or coed,” passed the Senate Education Committee in a 7-4 vote on Monday.

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