Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt recently signed into law a bill preventing biological males from competing against female athletes.
Stitt explained that males would have an unfair biological advantage over female athletes. “Biological males cannot compete in women’s sports. We’re not going to let it be an unfair advantage against them,” said Stitt.
“I just think it’s common sense.”
The law says that student athletes can only play on sports teams that match their biological sex. Similar laws have been created in a dozen other states.
“It’s important for me to protect women and girls in sports. I’ve a daughter that’s going to be standing behind me, as well as a lot of other women and girls. They train and put their whole effort into competing and being the best that they can be,” Stitt said.
According to former University of Oklahoma cheerleader Alyssa Amundsen, who attended the governor’s bill signing, “It’s no secret that there is a biological difference between males and females. Our predecessors worked so hard and had a huge victory with Title IX. I think we owe it to them, and we owe it to future generations of girls to pass this bill.”
Levi Gladd, a University of Oklahoma track and field athlete, also spoke out for the bill saying, “I don’t think that it’s fair if women aren’t given the same opportunities or to have these opportunities taken away by biological things that they can’t deal with, or overcome.”
Transgender athletes debate heats up
The debate over transgender athletes has heated up recently with the success of University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. After competing as a male for three years, Thomas went on to excel in women’s swimming, winning the NCAA Division I title.
Critics argue that the new law targets already marginalized people unnecessarily.
Tamya Cox-Toure, executive director of Oklahoma’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement, “Gov. Stitt has sent a clear message to Oklahoma’s vulnerable transgender youth that they are not welcome or accepted in our state.”
Cox-Toure’s statement continued by saying the law “harms transgender youth, all to solve a problem that does not exist.”
In response, Governor Stitt said, “I’d be happy to talk to any critics that are basically choosing to stand with someone else over women and sports. To me, it’s that simple.”
Stitt continued, “This isn’t against any other person. In Oklahoma, we’re inclusive of anybody and what is your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We’re not going to let a biological male compete against young women.”