Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation on Tuesday that prohibited transgender women from participating on female sports teams in college. The state previously banned transgender athletes from participating in youth grades K-12 female youth sports.
Under the law, students are banned from playing under a different gender identity despite whether they have undergone hormone treatment.
“Look, if you are a biological male, you are not going to be competing in women’s and girls’ sports in Alabama. It’s about fairness, plain and simple,” said Ivey in a statement.”
Movement for the college regulations started in April when legislation advanced in the middle of the month. In ban was put in place for K-12 in 2021.
“Forcing women to compete against biological men would reverse decades of progress that women have made for equal opportunity in athletics,” said the bill’s sponsor, GOP Representative Susan DuBose, to the committee last month. DuBose said that “no amount of hormone therapy can undo all those advantages” of being born male.”
The legislation maintains that biological girls are prohibited from participating in men’s and boys’ sports.
The ban has brought criticism from supporters and members of the LGBTQ+ community,
Alabama state director of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey, said the legislation is part of a “systematic attack against LGBTQ+ people” in Alabama and elsewhere.
“In just two years, she and extremist lawmakers in Alabama have passed four anti-LGBTQ+ bills. From dictating what bathrooms we can use to blatantly ignoring the actual problems in women’s sports, these politicians are making Alabama an increasingly hostile place for transgender people and transgender people and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole,” said Anderson-Harvey.
Another twenty states have implemented restrictions on transgender women and girls participating in female sports
Lawmakers in Alabama have approved bills restricting locker room and bathroom usage as well as a ban on the use of gender-affirming hormones and puberty blockers to treat transgender minors. A judge temporarily blocked the medication ban while a court challenge went forward.
A lopsided vote in both chambers approved the most recent sports ban, passing 26-4 in the Alabama Senate and 83-5 in the House. Over a half dozen House members abstained from voting.
Supporters of the ban say transgender women hold an unfair advantage in competition. Opponents of the bill say they are meant to shame transgender individuals and are rooted in politics and discrimination. One advocacy group urged Ivey to veto the bill saying it is “part of a coordinated effort by extremist politicians trying to advance their anti-LGBTQ+ agenda.”
After the Tuesday announcement,” Ivey’s office said the state “remains committed to protecting female athletes at all levels and upholding the integrity of athletics.”