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Arizona Lawmakers Vote to Restrict Biological Male Athletes in Women’s Sports

AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File

The Arizona Legislature passed two bills on Thursday targeted at transgender minors. The first bill prohibits gender reassignment surgery for individuals under 18 while the second bans biological male transgender athletes from playing on girls’ sports teams. GOP Governor Doug Ducey has not signaled whether or not he will support the pieces of legislation. 


This week, as I covered, two Republican governors, Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah, vetoed bills barring biological male athletes from playing girls’ sports. This comes amid the controversy surrounding biological male swimmer William “Lia” Thomas competing against women at the NCAA championships and winning a race.

According to the Associated Press, about 16 transgender student-athletes in Arizona have recieved waivers to play on sports teams that align with their gender identity rather than their biological sex. Republican state Rep. Shawma Bolick told the AP that the bill prohibiting biological male transgender athletes from girls’ sports would promote fairness. 

“This bill to me is all about biology,” Bolick said. She added that she played on a coed team in the 1980s but could not have made the high school boys team. “In my opinion, it’s unfair to allow biological males to compete with biological girls’ sports.”

Democratic state Rep. Kelli Butler told the AP that the legislation is “bullying against children who are already struggling just to get by.”

This month, Townhall covered how lawmakers in Idaho are pushing legislation similar to Arizona regarding transgender youth. Lawmakers in the state are pushing a bill that would outlaw gender-affirming operations and treatment for minors. Anyone caught prescribing hormone or puberty blockers or performing gender reassignment surgery in the state could face life in prison.


“If we do not allow minors to get a tattoo, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, sign a legal contract, why would we allow them to go through these physical mutilations because of their feelings at the time,” Republican Idaho state Rep. Bruce Skaug, who sponsored the bill, said in an interview with Boise State Public Radio. “It’s a bill to get proper treatment and to prevent them from lifelong, permanent decisions that will make them sterile and mutilate their bodies.”

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