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States Act to Protect Female Athletes from Discrimination

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Since 2020, twenty-one [21] states have enacted laws to protect female athletes from unfair competition in sports designated for women and girls.  

In 2020, Idaho’s Fairness in Women Sports Act, sponsored by Idaho State Rep. and former NCAA basketball coach Barbara Ehardt, and signed by Republican Gov. Brad Little, became the first state law to prevent trans-identifying male athletes from participating in sports designated for women and girls. 

In 2021, eight [8] states joined Idaho enacting laws to protect female athletes:

  • Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia passed laws signed by Republican governors.
  • Republican Govs. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Doug Burgum of North Dakota, and Democrat Govs. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and Laura Kelly of Kansas vetoed bills. Attempts to override these vetoes failed.

In 2022, nine [9] more states enacting laws protecting women’s sports:

  • Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota passed laws signed by Republican governors.
  • Indiana and Utah passed bills that were vetoed by Republican Govs. Eric Holcomb (IN) and Spencer Cox (UT). Kentucky passed a bill vetoed by Democrat Governor Andy Beshear. Each of these vetoes was overridden by their state legislatures to take effect.
  • Louisiana passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, supported by nearly half of its Senate Democrats. The law was enacted without the signature of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.  
  • Kansas and Pennsylvania legislatures passed bills that were vetoed by Democrat Govs. Laura Kelly (KS) and Tom Wolf (PA). Attempts to override these vetoes failed.

In 2023, action in the states continues as lawmakers in nearly every state without a law – from Alaska to Hawaii to New Jersey and New Hampshire – sponsor legislation to prevent discrimination against female athletes in their own sports. 

  • Momentum continues as the Biden Administration and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) double down on redefining the meaning of “sex” under Title IX as a “gender identity,” not a biological reality, and prioritizing inclusion of trans-identifying male athletes over the rights of female athletes in women’s sports.    
  • To date, three [3] states have passed laws to protect fairness in sports for female athletes without the support of their governors.
    • Wyoming’s law goes into effect without the signature of Republican Gov. Mark Gordon.
    • Kansas’ legislature successfully overrode the third veto of Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly.
    • North Dakota Republican Doug Burgum reversed an earlier veto decision and signed two bills covering K-12 and college sports teams.  

State Legislation

The map below indicates states where legislatures have passed legislation or have proposed legislation to protect women’s sports from the transgender agenda.

Map Legend:

  • Green – Legislation passed and signed into law.
  • Dark Green – Legislation passed, vetoed, and veto overridden.
  • Light Green – State law cedes authority to athletic association regarding sex-based participation. Georgia High School Association passed a policy requiring sports participation based on birth sex.
  • Red – Legislation passed, vetoed by governor, and veto not overridden.