Oklahoma is the Latest State to Enact Transgender Athlete Ban

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill Wednesday that bans transgender student-athletes from competing in women’s and girls’ sports, making it the fourth state in the country to pass the controversial law this year.

The “Save Women’s Sports Act” requires athletes to report their gender assigned at birth when registering for middle school, high school, and collegiate sports in Oklahoma. The bill also allows students to file a civil lawsuit against a school that violates the ban.

“When it comes to sports and athletics, girls should compete against girls. Boys should compete against boys. And let’s be very clear: that’s all this bill says,” Stitt stated during the signing ceremony.

Several LGBTQ groups and advocates have voiced their opposition to the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma released a statement saying Stitt “has sent a clear message to Oklahoma’s vulnerable transgender youth that they are not welcome or accepted in our state.”

The NCAA recently enacted a new controversial policy that mandates each sport’s governing body to set standards for transgender athlete inclusion and requires transgender athletes to submit testosterone testing for championship competitions.

Last year, the NCAA issued a statement threatening to pull championship games from states with anti-transgender bills. However, some states that uphold anti-transgender legislation still hosted NCAA championships, The Washington Post reports.