(WTRF) Governor Justice announced Wednesday during his daily coronavirus briefing that he would sign the West Virginia transgender bill.
The bill would ban transgender athletes in middle and high school from participating in school sports that do not match their gender identity. The bill states that a birth certificate would be required upon admission to public school confirming the person’s sex at birth.
On Monday, the NCAA announced it will not allow playoff or tournament games to be played in states with an anti-transgender sports policy.
Justice, who coaches the girls basketball team at Greenbrier East High School, says he’s concerned about this but says he will let the bill become law regardless.
The bill is drawing sharp criticism from Wheeling City Council member Rosemary Ketchum, who is herself a trans woman. Ketchum seems particularly concerned with potential economic consequences of this bill.
Entities like the NCAA are threatening to pull events and areas that adopt this kind of legislation. As for what area voters think, Ketchum says this issue isn’t a problem in the Mountain State.
“Think about the issues that affect you day to day. I have spoken to many West Virginians about the issues that they care most about that impact their lives, transgender kids participating in sports is never one of them. It rarely impacts your life, if ever,” Ketchum said.
Proponents of this legislation argue that when it comes to sports, biological men and women require some kind of extra protection. To that point, Ketchum argues that the NCAA claims they have not found evidence that trans athletes have a significant competitive advantage in sports over non-trans athletes.