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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt told Fox News the “Save Women’s Sports Act” would prevent female athletes from competing against biological males, who he said would have an unfair biological advantage.
“Biological males cannot compete in women’s sports,” the Republican governor told Fox News. “We’re not going to let it be an unfair advantage against them.
“I just think it’s common sense,” Stitt added.
The bill says that student-athletes can only play on sports teams matching their biological sex. A dozen other states have signed similar laws.
OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR SIGNS TRANSGENDER SPORTS BAN INTO LAW
“It’s important for me to protect women and girls in sports,” Stitt said. “I’ve got a daughter that’s going to be standing behind me, as well as a lot of other women and girls.”
“They train and put their whole effort into competing and being the best that they can be,” he added.
Former University of Oklahoma cheerleader Alyssa Amundsen, who also stood behind the governor as he signed the bill, told Fox News: “It’s no secret that there is a biological difference between males and females.”
“Our predecessors worked so hard and had a huge victory with Title IX,” Amundsen continued. “I think we owe it to them and we owe it to future generations of girls to pass this bill.”
A University of Oklahoma track and field athlete, Levi Gladd, felt similarly.
“I don’t think that it’s fair if women aren’t given the same opportunities or to have these opportunities taken away by biological things that they can’t deal with, or overcome,” Gladd told Fox News.
Debate over transgender athletes escalated in recent months, as Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania excelled in women’s swimming after competing as a male for three years. Thomas earlier this month became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title.
Critics of the Oklahoma bill argue that the new law unnecessarily targets a group of people already marginalized.
“Gov. Stitt has sent a clear message to Oklahoma’s vulnerable transgender youth that they are not welcome or accepted in our state,” the executive director of Oklahoma’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Tamya Cox-Toure, said in a statement. The law “harms transgender youth, all to solve a problem that does not exist.”
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Stitt told Fox News: “I’d be happy to talk to any critics that are basically choosing to stand with someone else over women and sports. To me, it’s that simple.”
“This isn’t against any other person. In Oklahoma, we’re inclusive of anybody and what is your life liberty and pursuit of happiness,” the governor said. “We’re not going to let a biological male compete against young women.”