A pro-family organization is West Virginia is thrilled to see its Republican governor – a former Democrat – sign the Save Girls' Sports Act.
House Bill 3293 narrowly passed the West Virginia Senate (18-15) before the House of Delegate overwhelmingly approved it (80-20). Both votes took place earlier this month – but wasn't signed into law by the governor until Wednesday.
"Governor Jim Justice was elected as a Democrat his first go around," says Allen Whitt of Family Policy Council of West Virginia. "Governor Justice is not known for making the most conservative decisions on bills, [so] this was somewhat of a surprise to us that he actually signed the bill."
"When the law ignores biological differences, women and girls bear the brunt of the harm. We have seen increasing examples across the country of males dominating girls' athletic competitions when competing as females, capturing championships and shattering long-standing female track records.
"Comparably fit and trained males will always have physical advantages over females – that's the reason we have girls' sports. When we ignore biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete.
"In the face of ongoing pressure from woke corporations and special interests to reject this type of legislation, we commend Gov. Justice, Rep. Caleb Hanna, Sen. Amy Grady, Sen. Patricia Rucker, and many other supporters in the Legislature for ensuring that women and girls will not face those losses in West Virginia."
Christiana Holcomb, attorney
Alliance Defending Freedom
The new law specifies that participation for sports events will "be based on biological sex of the athlete at birth."
With the signing, West Virginia joined a growing number of states now barring biological males from competing in female sports. Legislators in other states are pushing their government to follow suit.
Still, the NCAA has put out a statement in support of transgender athletes:
"When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected. We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants."
Whitt says the NCAA is not a lawmaking body, and – for the most part – "should be ignored."
"The NCAA is chartered with creating a fair and level playing field in athletics," he tells One News Now. "However, it's not difficult to ascertain that the current NCAA's priorities are profit and political activism."
The governor had been warned by some state lawmakers that signing the measure could bring retaliation from the NCAA in the form of denying college tournaments can be held in the state.