Arizona House Passes Bill Banning Trans Female Athletes From School Sports

The Arizona House of Representatives have passed House bill 2706, which bars trans athletes in public schools from participating in sports that align with their gender.

The update on the controversial bill arrived on Tuesday (March 3) and detailed that a "signed physician’s statement" would be needed from female athletes to prove their genetic makeup, testosterone levels, and "internal and external reproductive anatomy." Legislators voted 31 to 29 to advance the bill to the Arizona Senate. It covers high school sports, as well as students at any public or private school in Arizona governed by an interscholastic association.

"Whether someone is a sports fans or not, most view this as a matter of basic fairness," Republican Rep. Nancy Barto said in defense of the bill. "Female student athletes should not be forced to compete in a sport against biological males, who possess inherent physiological advantages. When this is allowed, it discourages female participation in athletics and, worse, it can result in women and girls being denied crucial educational and financial opportunities." 

Plenty disagreed with Barto and the others who voted for the bill, including Democratic Rep. Daniel Hernandez Jr., who argued that it failed to protect the LGBTQ community. "Today is sad day for Arizona. After almost 6 hours of debate an anti-trans bill was passed in the house. 2706 is not pro woman and it is bad for AZ and bad for business. Poorly written and rammed through despite 100s of businesses opposed," he tweeted. "Yet despite all that debate about protecting women not one minute was spent talking about protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations."

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