Arizona Bans Transgender Athletes in Women’s Sports, Gender Reassignment Surgery for Minors
( National Review )
Arizona passed bills Thursday banning transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports and minors from undergoing gender transition surgery, adding another member to the growing coalition of Republican states that have passed such measures.
It is uncertain whether Governor Doug Ducey will sign the bills. While he is a Republican, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will rubber stamp the bills, given that the Republican governors of Utah and Indiana recently vetoed their versions of the sports legislation.
Prohibiting transgender athletes from female sports has become a major Republican platform issue. Multiple red states have passed bills restricting K-12 and collegiate athletics to biological sex. Idaho was the first do so in 2020, but its law is currently entrenched in litigation, as is West Virginia’s.
In Texas, Governor Gregg Abbott has ordered investigations into medical providers and parents who enable children’s transition surgeries. That came after Texas Attorney General Paxton released an extensive memo articulating the child’s liberty interest in procreation, stating that depriving a child of that by allowing them to effectively sterilize themselves constitutes child abuse.
It’s on the GOP’s radar again since last weekend’s NCAA women’s championship, where transgender swimmer Lia Thomas outperformed and out-placed multiple female athletes, preventing at least one from advancing to finals.
“This bill to me is all about biology,” Republican Representative Shawnna Bolick, who had experience playing high school women’s sports, told the Associated Press. “In my opinion, it’s unfair to allow biological males to compete with biological girls sports.”
As for banning gender reconstructive medical procedures, Arizona is one of 20 states that has put such a bill on the table. Originally, Arizona’s bill outlawed all gender transition interventions, including hormone therapy, but was revised to be limited to irreversible reconstructive surgeries, such as mastectomies.
Some Republicans in the Arizona legislature suggested that the bill was necessary to prevent young children from falling victim to the social contagion of transgenderism that might cause them to undergo procedures they could regret when they’re older.
Republican Representative John Kavanagh said, “We should stand the same way today because this is mutilation of children. It is irreversible. It is horrific.”