Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill Thursday that prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in female sports from kindergarten through college.
During the signing of House File 2416, Reynolds was surrounded by a group of cheerful young female athletes. The measure received approval from the state's House and Senate, passing with a vote of 31 to 17.
"This is a victory for girls' sports in Iowa," Reynolds said in a statement. "No amount of talent, training or effort can make up for the natural physical advantages males have over females. It's simply a reality of human biology. Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it's absolutely unfair."
Protecting girls sports in Iowa! It's a fairness issue! Today I signed HF2416 into law, which allows participation in sports based upon the biological sex listed on the athlete’s birth certificate. pic.twitter.com/HdOY2Ck2tW
— Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) March 3, 2022
Under the new law, schools at all levels must designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed. Students wanting to compete in sports must play with others that match the gender listed on their birth certificate.
Numerous groups shared their support of HF 2416 and applauded Gov. Reynolds for defending female sports in Iowa.
"Protecting girls' sports isn't political; it's biological reality," said The Family Leader, a conservative group based in Iowa. "Allowing genetically male athletes to compete in women's sports puts our girls at an undeniable physical disadvantage and threatens their athletic opportunities. Our high school girls and college women deserve to compete on a level playing field, and today, that playing field is protected."
"Trans girls are boys, not girls. Trans women are men, not women," remarked State Senator Jeff Taylor (R-District 2) during a hearing about safeguarding women's sports.
Christiana Holcomb, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), praised Iowa for passing the legislation.
"When the law ignores biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete," Holcomb said. "Comparably fit and trained males will always have physical advantages over females - that's the reason we have girls' sports.
However, Iowa Safe Schools, an LGBTQ youth advocacy group, called the measure "a solution in search of a problem" to score "petty political points at the expense of Iowa's children," the organization tweeted.
Iowa became the 11th state to ban transgender athletes from competing in female sports. Others include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
CBN News has extensively reported on the increase of biological males who are dominating girls' athletic competitions because they can compete as females.
USA Swimming released a new policy last month amid controversy surrounding Lia Thomas, a transgender athlete with the University of Pennsylvania. Thomas' participation as a member of the women's swim team has raised serious concern over the lack of fairness for female athletes.
Thomas, who came out as transgender in 2019, has undergone two years of testosterone suppression to be able to participate in the sport.
But as Swimming World Magazine Editor-In-Chief John Lohn noted in an op-ed last month, Thomas' numbers reveal a very clear picture about the advantage the transgender swimmer has over teammates and other female swimmers.
"The fact that the University of Pennsylvania swimmer has soared from a mid-500s ranking (554th in the 200 freestyle) in men's competition to the top-ranked swimmer in women's competition tells the story of the unfairness which is unfolding at the NCAA level," Lohn wrote.
Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, two high school transgender track athletes from Connecticut, took 15 state championship titles while competing in women's events.