The N.C. House is not planning to move the Save Women’s Sports Act (H358) this session, according to North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. In an interview with the Associated Press, Moore said that votes are not needed at this point. The bill would apply to college, middle, and high school sports and would require that sports be designated co-ed or specifically for males or females.
The bill reads:
“Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex. (c) Sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
The bill’s primary sponsors are all Republicans, led by Rep. Mark Brody, R-Union, and while the Republicans have majority control over the legislature, it is not a veto-proof majority and Gov. Roy Cooper would be likely to veto such a measure, given his public support for and from LGBTQ interest groups.
A companion bill to the Save Women’s Sports Act was not filed in the N.C. Senate.
A survey out this week finds that 53 percent of likely voters would support a bill that “prevents students that were born male, but who now identify as female from playing on all-girls sports teams,” while 37.8% of respondents said they would oppose such legislation. About 8.5% were unsure or had no opinion.
Conducted by Spry Strategies, the survey polled 700 likely voters who voted in at least two of the last four Republican primaries, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4.
Moore said in the interview that the bill was a solution in search of a problem that is not yet widespread in North Carolina sports. Currently, the N.C. High School Athletics Association says that participation in interscholastic athletics is open to all people regardless of gender identification.
“Speaker Moore’s announcement about the school sports bill represents a clear-headed assessment of facts on the ground, much like the Senate’s earlier decision to stop a bill addressing transgender medical treatments,” said Mitch Kokai, John Locke Foundation senior political analyst. “Regardless of the merits of either piece of legislation, there was no chance that either would become law. The only certain outcome would have been protests and criticism. The backlash would have distracted lawmakers from addressing more pressing priorities.”
“Perhaps the situation would have been different if North Carolina had widespread evidence of problems linked to transgender students competing in school sports programs,” Kokai added. “But as the speaker reportedly told a news outlet, he and his colleagues aren’t hearing real-world complaints.”
According to the Save Women’s Sport Organization, Similar bills have been filed in 32 states this year and become law in Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Mississippi.