Governor Mike DeWine has questioned the need for a legislative ban on transgender girls competing in sports, pushing back on GOP lawmakers’ attempt to pass the controversial measure.
DeWine’s comment appearing to oppose such a policy came one day after fellow Republicans in the House inserted the ban into an unrelated bill, saying such a prohibition was needed to protect girls from unfair competition.
But DeWine said there were better ways to deal with the question.
“This issue is best addressed outside of government through individual sports leagues and athletic associations, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who can tailor policies to meet the needs of their member athletes and member institutions,” he said.
The governor’s spokesperson said it was too early to say whether DeWine would veto the ban if it came to his desk.
The proposal, titled the Save Women’s Sports Act, would require schools and higher education institutions in the state to designate “separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex.”
The bills’ sponsors say it is an effort to maintain fairness and protect the integrity in women’s sports in Ohio.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has consistently said there’s no evidence of a problem posed by transgender girls competing in sports, and the number of such participants is minor.
House Republicans on Thursday added the ban to a bill that would allow college athletes to receive compensation for use of their name, image or likeness in promotions.