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Alabama House passes bill banning transgender women from college women’s sports

The bill passed with the support of several Democrats in addition to Republicans.

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The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would ban biological males from competing in women’s sports at the college level.

Freshman Rep. Susan Dubose, R-Hoover, said allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sports is just not fair.

“Every male placed on a women’s team displaces a deserving female,” Dubose said. “We must protect the safety, fairness and competitiveness of women’s sports … men are bigger, stronger, taller, denser muscles, bigger hands.”

The bill passed with just five votes in opposition, with 14 members abstaining. Several Democrats came to the well to lend their support to the bill.

“If you are a father of daughters, think of your girls in a locker room with boys,” said Rep. Patrick Sellers, D-Birmingham. Sellers then began talking about the 2002 film “Juwanna Mann” in which a man who can’t cut it in the men’s basketball league dresses as a woman to join the WNBA and dominates the league. “Because of his physicality, he is able to outmaneuver and outfall every single female.”

Rep. Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs, said his daughter played soccer with the boys at a young age and it “made her better,” but she did not make the boys team in high school, which was “appropriate” because the high school also had a girls team. She went on to play a the university level, but Mooney said if his two sons could have also played on the women’s team, they could have taken her spot.

Rep. Phillip Ensler, D-Montgomery, brought an amendment to clarify that Title IX would supersede the state law in the case that the federal rule changes to go against the state law. Ensler said the state could lose Title IX funding for all of its sports without such a clause.

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He also said the bill will likely land the state in a costly legal fight.

“To all the people who are listening and feel marginalized by this bill, I hear you, I see you, I love you for who you are,” Ensler said.

Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, said he felt like he was “in the Twilight Zone” hearing all the Democrat agreement with Republicans on this issue.

“The conversation here is like we are stopping some kind of epidemic in Alabama, but I’m not sure anyone can find one example of this happening in Alabama,” England said.

Dubose said it is happening “across the country” and that the state needs to take a preventative step to keep it from happening here.

“One spot lost to a transgender athlete is one too many,” Dubose said.

England said this hasn’t happened in Alabama in part because the NCAA guidelines have adjusted to account for this situation.

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“This is a solution in search of a problem,” England said.

England and Ensler were two of the five nay votes on the bill. They were joined by Napoleon Bracy, D-Pritchard; Jeremy Gray, D-Auburn and Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville.

Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, questioned how the state would confirm whether an athlete was a biological male, stating “not all doctors are going to be checking if you have a va-jay-jay.”

Givan voted in favor of the bill, however, and appeared to hint that there was retribution against a pro-transgender organization,.

“I’m peacock proud and hallelujah happy,” Givan said as the bill was about to pass. “Some organizations said some things against folks in this chamber; you need to do some housecleaning.”

The bill moves to the Senate.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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