House bill

Ohio House Bill 151 is intrusive, unnecessary

Ohio has been a tough place to be a girl lately.

Last month, the state writhed in a whirlwind after a 10-year-old child from Columbus who was raped traveled to Indiana for an abortion.

Now comes word that the Ohio house has passed House Bill 151 which confirms the gender of a female athlete ― including possible genital examinations ― from K-12.

In other words, if your daughter is an extremely talented athlete, that talent becomes suspect.

Perhaps the greatest irony of this “bad loser” law, which also allows anyone who feels “deprived” of being allowed to play sports, can sue a school district, is that it comes of people who still don’t care about government intrusion.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the test could include an examination of internal and external reproductive anatomy; measure endogenously produced testosterone levels; and an analysis of the genetic makeup.

Some conservative groups and several doctors have expressed unease with the law, with at least one doctor saying he would not perform such an examination on a child.

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If we’re being honest, the issue of transgender athletes is something a lot of people are struggling with. How do you ensure fair competition for girl athletes, versus the right of transgender people to fully participate in society?

Is it even possible? A The 2021 Gallup Poll found that 62% of people respondents believe that transgender athletes should compete based on their sex at birth.

It cannot be argued that there are no physiological differences between biological males and females in terms of strength and speed. NCAA transgender swimmer Lia Thomas caused much consternation and assertion that it just wasn’t fair. For critics, she was Exhibit A of why male-to-female transgender athletes should be banned from women’s and women’s sports.

But this bill does not offer a real solution.

It’s punitive, redundant, and triggers more dilemmas than it solves.

On the one hand, it’s up to the girls to prove who they are, just because they’re good at what they do.

On the other hand, why should a girl’s family pay for a test because of someone else’s suspicion?

The Ohio High School Athletic Association currently allows transgender athletes, who must meet certain criteria. Of over 150,000 students in OSHAA sports, less than 10 are transgender.

Is additional state law really necessary for a demographic group that constitutes 0.03% of the population?

Girls who are good at sports have always been the subject of sarcastic remarks and comments. Imagine the bullying that will begin if word of a gender screening gets out – and such things always get out.

In part, it’s the media’s fault that the actions of state legislatures are less well known and often overshadowed by the latest scandal that has spilled over into Washington, DC. But voters must also share some of the blame.

We absolutely must be concerned about the current threats to democracy and the drift towards political violence and extremism in all its forms. Bruce Springsteen was right: there is darkness on the outskirts of town.

But state legislatures have a much more immediate impact on our lives, and many act with impunity because we ignore them.

Ohio, for example, is still mired in the swamp of a massive, multimillion-dollar scandal involving FirstEnergy lobbyists who allegedly manipulated and bribed lawmakers. The fact that our second consecutive Speaker of the House was perpetrated by the FBI does not bode well for our functionality and outside investment.

Our elections have become so gerrymandered, we use outdated and unfair district maps that have been repeatedly slapped down by the courts, and again few of us pay attention.

Our reputation as a moderate state and political mouthpiece has been derided by fanatics, demagogues and people who think it is possible to replant a fetus from an ectopic pregnancy and teach the “two sides” of the Holocaust.

These are some of the people who decided your daughter should be watched for playing like a girl.

Charita M. Goshay is an editor for the Canton Repository and a member of the Editorial Board. Contact her at 330-580-8313 or [email protected] On Twitter: @cgoshayREP