Female University of Pennsylvania swimmers recently told the Daily Mail they were uncomfortable sharing a locker room with swimmer Lia Thomas, born male but now identifying as a woman.

“It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” one swimmer on the team told the news outlet.

Even after complaining to their coach and school officials, UPenn failed to protect the women’s privacy. One student said, “The school was so focused on making sure Lia was okay, and doing everything they possibly could do for her, that they didn’t even think about the rest of us.”

Women’s teams want – and deserve – privacy in locker rooms, showers and restrooms. They don’t need those formerly safe spaces invaded by men who claim to be women.

This is just one reason states are moving to protect women’s and girls athletics, passing legislation to “Save Girls Sports.” Also called “Fairness In Women’s Sports Acts,” more than 37 states introduced legislation in 2021 to protect girls and women’s sports in public schools, colleges and universities.

So far, nine states have passed and signed into law such legislation, reports Save Women’s Sports, “a coalition that seeks to preserve biology-based eligibility standards for participation in female sports.” Idaho was the first, passing its law in 2020. The other states that followed last year are Montana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia and Florida.

Radical groups like the ACLU and Lambda Legal have been busily filing legal challenges to legislation that preserves women’s sports for real women.

This year, at least 18 states have legislation introduced to protect girls and women’s sports, including Indiana, Arizona, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.

The latter state banned boys in girls sports in public schools by executive order, but an “Act to Protect Fairness in Women’s Sports,” Senate Bill 46, has now been introduced into the state’s legislature. SB 46 includes intercollegiate sports.

Family Heritage Alliance, a Focus on the Family-allied group, says the state must save girls sports and protect fair competition.

The organization adds, “Numerous opportunities for scholarships and awards have been unjustly taken from female athletes, and their life-long hard work has been undermined by biological males who have taken the spotlight. Even with athletes from across the country speaking out, athletic organizations and educational institutions remain loyal to identity politics in complete disregard of Title IX, meant to establish equal opportunity for males and females.”

Just recently, the Indiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1041, prohibiting those born male “from participating on an athletic team or sport designated as being a female, women’s, or girls’ athletic team or sport” in public schools – or schools that compete against them. The measure passed with a 66 to 30 vote.

But the Indiana Family Institute (IFI), a Focus on the Family ally, explains that the bill does not protect collegiate and university women, “During committee hearings, Indiana legislators actually REMOVED protections for college athletes in HB 1041 (emphasis in original).”

IFI stated, “Women are in danger of being eradicated from their own sports. Many college athletes have spent most of their lives working tirelessly to achieve success in their sport, and they are being forced to watch men steal their rightfully earned spots.”

In Arizona, SB 1165, the Save Women’s Sports Act, is making its way through the legislature, as it was just passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  

The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), another Focus-allied Family Policy Council, wrote that opponents of the bill called it an “attack on transgender girls” – that is, boys who say they are girls. But CAP argues the bill is needed, as athletes with sexual identity confusion take slots from women.

“Congress didn’t need a study to tell them males have a physical advantage over females when lawmakers passed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, ensuring girls and women fair treatment in education and related sports. Nearly 50 years later, we find ourselves fighting state by state to retain those protections,” CAP stated.

In Pennsylvania, our allied group the Pennsylvania Family Institute is advocating on behalf of House Bill 972, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.”

The organization says, “Forcing girls to compete against boys removes equal opportunities, crushes female-made records, and takes away countless chances at scholarships and awards. We’re seeing this unfair reality become increasingly prevalent throughout the nation.”

We’ll keep you posted on this legislation – and bills in other states – as they make their way through the legislature and to governors’ desks.

Related articles and resources:

How to Get Involved: Contact Your State Policy Group

Center for Arizona Policy

Family Heritage Alliance (South Dakota)

Indiana Family Institute

Pennsylvania Family Institute

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