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Bill to bar trans girls from participating on girls sports teams clear committee

Ian McKinnell
Getty Images

An education committee in the General Assembly has approved a bill that would bar transgender girls from participating on girls’ middle school and high school sports teams.

Republican senator Vickie Sawyer sponsored the bill. She spoke in favor of an amendment that would continue to allow girls to play on boys’ teams, as she says she did in school. But she says the bill would not allow a student who is born a biological male to play on a girls team.

"When a woman walks onto the field and she plays against other women she doesn't expect to be out numbered or outgunned by someone who's a biological man," she said.

The bill garnered public comment on both sides of the issue.

Cat Salemi is a mental health counselor from Durham who identifies as non-binary. They said they do not believe the intent of the bill is to protect girls, "but instead to discriminate against trans girls and teens and exclude them from participating in sports. Laws like this send a clear message to trans people that we are not accepted, not wanted and not welcome."

The bill has cleared its first hurdle in the Senate and will face other votes before it can move to the House.