Iowa has now become the 11th State to pass a law requiring students to be biologically female before joining girls’ sports.
Governor Kim Reynolds signed House File 2416 into law on Thursday. It is an act relating to student eligibility requirements in the school district, accredited nonpublic schools, regent institutions, community colleges, and certain other institutions of higher education athletics based on sex, including effective date provisions.
HF 2416 has been introduced this February and had passed by the House in a vote of 55-39 and the Senate in a vote of 31-17. In this law, "sex" was defined as "a person's biological sex as either female or male, and provides that the sex listed on the student's official birth certificate or certificate issued upon adoption may be relied upon if the certificate was issued at or near the time of the student's birth."
An LGBT activist group Movement Advancement Project tracks states that had passed legislation banning transgender youth from participation in girls' sports. Ten other states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginias had passed the law.
"This is a victory for girls' sports in Iowa. 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," said Gov. Reynolds in his statement.
An Iowa-based conservative group The Family Leader (TFL) who advocated the legislation of HF 2416 also released a statement last Thursday.
"Protecting girls' sports isn't political, it's a biological reality. 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," said TFL in their statement.
On Feb 18, TFL cited two genetic males who identified themselves as a female who blew away high school girls on the track. According to them, science affirms athletes born male are generally bigger, taller, faster, stronger, and more explosive than females. In the study of Emma Hilton and Tommy Lundberg, male athletes perform 10-50 percent better than comparably fit and trained female athletes, varying on what sport.
On the other hand, the executive director of the Iowa chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Mark Stringer had said in their statement, "This cruel law violates the civil rights of transgender girls and women in our state. We should all agree that it's important for our schools to value, support, and protect our kids and young people who are transgender."
According to them, "elected officials were scoring on their political points at the expense of transgender girls who just want to play team sports along with other girls." They strongly stand that trans girls were supposed to be under girls' sports based on an article published on Scientific American.
Meanwhile, Utah will not be joining the 11 states who recently enacted a law banning transgender to participating in girls' sports. Utah Governor Spencer Cox plans to veto the said legislation.