One of the most egregious bills passed by the 2022 Kentucky legislature was SB83, “AN ACT relating to athletics.” The last entry of the act, on page ten, states: “This Act may be cited as ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.’” Of course, the act is really a pandering to a very small segment of a conservative electorate that is obsessed with sexuality.
By now, you probably understand that the act being referred to is the one that bans transgender students from participating in primary and secondary school sports. But only in girls’ and women’s sports. Isn’t it interesting that there is so much effort to restrict participation on the side of female sports activities but nothing similar regarding male sports?
Yet there is something even more interesting (disturbing?) about this act.
Section 1(2)(g) states: “The state board or any agency designated by the state board to manage interscholastic athletics shall promulgate administrative regulations or bylaws that provide that:
- A member school shall designate all athletic teams, activities, and sports for students in grades six (6) through twelve (12) of the following categories: a. “Boys”; b. “Coed”; or c. “Girls”.
- The sex of a student for the purpose of determining eligibility to participate in an athletic activity or sport shall be determined by: a. A student’s biological sex as indicated on the student’s original, unedited birth certificate issued at the time of birth; or b. An affidavit signed and sworn to by the physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, or chiropractor that conducted the annual medical examination required by Paragraph (e) of this subsection under penalty of perjury establishing the student’s biological sex at the time or birth;
- a. An athletic activity or sport designated as “girls” for students in grades six (6) through twelve (12) shall not be open to members of the male sex.
What makes it interesting is what is included in the rules stated by the KHSAA, rules that the bill sponsors apparently didn’t know about or simply decided to ignore them in order to pander.
KHSAA Rules for Transgender Athletes Participation state:
a. Each student-athlete shall participate according to the gender as listed on their birth certificate unless they were legally reassigned.
b. Reassignment may be demonstrated through the use of a birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, or other certified medical record as verified to the member school.
c. Each member school is responsible for making this initial determination for its student-athlete.
d. A student-athlete who has undergone sex reassignment is eligible to compete in the reas-signed gender, provided such is not precluded by additional adopted bylaw or policy, when:
- The student-athlete has undergone sex reassignment before puberty, or
- The student-athlete has undergone sex reassignment after puberty under all the fol-lowing conditions:
a. Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy;
b. Hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimize gender-related advantages in sports competition; and
c. If the student-athlete stops taking hormonal treatment, they will be required to participate in the sport consistent with their birth gender.
The key sponsor of SB83, when testifying before committee, admitted that he knew of no instance in which the issue of transgender athletes had been revealed as a problem (and he, most assuredly, has absolutely no idea what a gonadectomy is). In fact, the number of transgender athletes in Kentucky is so miniscule that the very existence of the act (and the rules by KHSAA) is an abomination of Kentucky law and deprives a small number of kids from being who they really are.
So much for our vaunted legislature and its ability to address real problems in this state.