The Kentucky legislature voted to protect girls sports, passing a measure that requires athletes in 6th grade through college to compete against members of their biological sex – instead of competing as the sex they “identify” with.
With a state Senate vote of 29 to 8 and a House vote of 72 to 23, the General Assembly overrode a veto of SB 83 by Governor Andy Beshear to pass the Save Women’s Sports Act.
The vote came on April 13, 2022, a very good day in the Bluegrass State, as the legislature overturned another veto from the governor to pass HB 3, the Humanity in Healthcare Act. That act prohibits mail-order abortion drugs, includes a 15-week ban on abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, requires the dignified disposal of preborn human remains, and prohibits state funds for abortion providers or those who refer to them.
The Family Foundation, a Kentucky family policy council allied with Focus on the Family, was jubilant about the two votes. Executive Director David Walls said, “Today is a great day for women and girls in Kentucky.
“Biology matters, and female athletes deserve a fair and level playing field. As we have increasingly seen, when males are allowed to compete in girls’ sports, they take championships, recognition, and opportunities that belong to female athletes.”
Riley Gaines, a University of Kentucky student, spoke out in support of the legislation. She competed last month in the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships, placing fifth in the 200-yard freestyle.
Gaines tied for that spot with Lia Thomas, a male University of Pennsylvania athlete who identified as female. But during the awards ceremony, the fifth place trophy was given to Thomas, and Gaines was told hers would come in the mail.
Gaines said, “We – and when I say we, I mean the majority of female athletes – want all people to be able to live as they choose and to be treated with respect. But we cannot ignore the biological and anatomical differences between males and females that are blatantly obvious.”
Not only do male-bodied athletes in girls sports take away opportunities for championships and trophies, but girls and women can sustain serious injuries when biological males are allowed to play on girls teams.
The weekend just before the legislation passed, three high school female rugby athletes were injured by a so-called “transgender female athlete” – in reality, a high school teen boy who believes he is a girl.
The boy played for Guam High School’s girls rugby team, and his aggression and strength were no match for the girls on the Tiyan High School team.
Tiyan coach Conrad Kerber said the boy’s “body size, body strength, and the ability to apply force with that size and strength completely dominate any girl that I have on the team.”
He added, “It’s purely a safety issue when we discuss transgender males playing in female sports at a youth level particularly at this type of contact sport as well. I’m basically in line with the world rugby guidelines regarding transgender males playing female sports and basically across the world it’s not permitted.”
Thankfully, states are moving to protect women’s safety and their sports opportunities. Kentucky is the 15th state to pass such a measure, the sixth state this year, and the second to override a governor’s veto, as Utah legislation followed a similar path.
Indiana’s governor vetoed a Save Women’s Sports Bill in March, giving the state’s legislature a chance to override his veto on May 24.
The Family Foundation called on Christians to praise God for the passage of both the Save Girls Sports Act and the Humanity in Healthcare Act, saying, “Kentuckians should exclaim with the Psalmist, ‘Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good!’ Let us rejoice in the Lord for these colossal victories of righteousness in our beloved Commonwealth!”
The organization invited people to pray a prayer of thanksgiving:
Father, thank You, for these incredible victories that protect Kentucky’s female athletes, mothers, and preborn children. Lord, we thank You, for the courage on display by the General Assembly to do what is right by overriding these vetoes. Father, may we continue to press forward in actively cultivating a state where You are honored. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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