Arizona House Passes Controversial Ban on Transgender Athletes

The Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a controversial measure that bans transgender students from joining sports teams that do not align with their “biological sex.” The bill, which was passed by a deeply divided house with a majority Republican 31-29 vote, will now be sent to the state Senate. State Rep. Nancy Barto (R-AZ) proposed the measure, which will mandate public and private schools—including colleges in universities—to designate sports teams as either male or female based on how the law defines “biological sex.” Barto’s initial proposal required students to present a doctor’s statement that details their “internal and external reproductive anatomy” and “normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone.” 

Democrats condemned the practice as invasive and Rep. Daniel Hernandez (D-AZ) called it the “show me your genitals law.” The revised bill will require students who want to participate in sports to take a genetic test. “We’re policing gender,” said Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez (D-AZ). “We’re trying to decide if that person is feminine enough or not feminine enough and we’re using that to justify subjecting our transgender athletes to additional barriers to participating in sports.”