An Act to protect women’s sports in PA likely won’t make it to the finish line

March 26 – The Protect Women’s Sports Act has come to Pennsylvania, but it’s doubtful it will ever become law – not with this administration.

Two of our local representatives – Rob Kauffman and Paul Schemel – have put their names on HB 972 that would provide sport activities in public institutions of higher education and public school entities to be expressly designated male, female or coed and create causes of action for harms suffered by designation.

The legislation, also known as the Protect Women’s Sports Act, is very brief – it’s only about three pages. More than ten other states in the country have already enacted this.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll predicted, “I think this is worthy of discussion. It’s fine that this is being introduced. This has zero chance of becoming law under this administration in Pennsylvania. There’s no way Tom Wolf would sign this.”

Within the last week, the governors of Indiana and Utah vetoed identical legislation that got passed in their states – both of whom are Republican and very conservative.

The Governor of Indiana said he found no evidence in the state that this is an issue. The Governor in Utah thought it was perhaps an issue more appropriate for local school districts.

Barkdoll said, “Even if you get a Republican governor in Pennsylvania, there’s no guarantee this would pass based on what you’re seeing some of these other states do. It’s a real mixed bag.”

On the other hand, West Virginia has adopted this legislation.

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “That is such a copout pushing it back onto school boards or local districts when they are having a hard time dealing with this and all we have is that idiotic guidance from the federal, Obama’s dear colleague letter and then we have a case of course at the Supreme Court where they stuffed gender identity into the can’t discriminate at work rule. How dare we start making laws the other way, permitting this stuff, when we don’t have a good handle on what is a person who identifies? It is so absurd that we’re letting activists take the lead in this who want to pretend like everybody can just decide what sex they are. What they’re trying to do is say that sex is a social construct. It really doesn’t exist. We need leaders who will say no. We’re not going to do that. We’re not going to allow women and girls to be erased and taken over by male bodies in sports that will always be able to win at their sports. We have to start facing the reality that however sympathetic we are to somebody who feels like they’re the opposite sex and how polite we want to be to them, that doesn’t entitle them to take a male body into female sports where there will not be a level playing field. Where are the adults? Where’s our acknowledging that the emperor has no clothes on.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM suggested, “…all those swimmers should just stop. If it’s not going to be the adults, then it’s got to be the children to show them once and for all, here. You’ve made a mess of everything. You’re lazy. You kicked the can around. You haven’t done anything. We might as well just walk away.”

There’s also a serious worry of the psychological damage to the girls and women who are dealing with this.

Jansen said, “I feel sorry for the school districts and the school boards trying to wade through these waters when we can’t get our leaders at the state level or at the federal level to acknowledge the reality that we are dealing with something very undefined here that we shouldn’t be definitely saying everybody has to obey.”

There could be a tipping point if this trend continues.

Barkdoll said, “If you start to see this happening around the country…there’s where I think you’re going to see the major pushback and the states are going to be forced to do something. On that UPenn situation, those parents of those other swimmers should have been out front much earlier pushing back on this. They waited too long and by the time they started to complain about it, the damage had already been done. There was nothing they could do about it.”