Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

BALTIMORE – Maryland lawmakers are debating a controversial bill aimed at preventing children assigned male at birth from competing in girls’ high school sports.

“House Bill 47 is very simple,” Delegate Kathy Szeliga, Republican from Baltimore County, said. “It just says that girls JV and Varsity sports teams are limited to biological girls.” 

House Bill 47, termed “The Fairness in Girls Sports Act,” is sponsored by a handful of Maryland Republicans, including Szeliga.

“So, when a girl athlete who is a JV or Varsity athlete who has worked so hard to achieve at that competitive level, they know that the playing field is fair,” Szeliga said.

But fairness depends on who you ask.

“This is not just a conversation about girls’ sports, what this is is a foot in the door to allow it to be permissible to discriminate against children” said Shamoya Gardiner, from Strong Schools Maryland.

Those in opposition, including Gardiner and McKenzie Funk, argue trans youth must have a place in sports, and protection, too.

“As we feel it’s both in a front to the resources and time of Marylanders and also actively disturbing as it poses a real threat to our trans youth community around Maryland.”

However, supporters maintain…

“If you have a clear rule on the board, they are just complying with the rule but when we don’t have a rule and things are gray,” Szeliga said. “That’s when people get paranoid or they’re upset, so we are doing an injustice by not having a clear rule that states that biological females should be protected in their sport.”

Even so, while one side claims this a balance of fairness and inclusivity, the other side says it boils down to science.

“Boys are faster, stronger, they jump higher, they have more muscle, they have bigger cardiovascular systems, bigger bones and testosterone, among other things,” Szeliga said.

If passed, the law would go into effect on July 1. Collegiate teams in Maryland would not be impacted.

More from CBS News

Nicky Zizaza

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