On Thursday, January 20, the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB1165, a bill sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, which prohibits transgender women from competing in K-12 and collegiate women’s sports. Dubbed the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” the bill passed along party lines.
The Committee heard compelling testimony from both sides of the issue, but it was the testimony of Jadis Argiope, a transgender woman who spoke in favor of the bill, that seemed to grab the attention of the Committee members and the public in attendance:
Argiope pointed out the “biological reality” that men have an obvious and substantial advantage in physical sports, saying “…the reality is, we’re stronger, we’re taller, we have bigger bones, we can take in more oxygen, we have a better fat distribution that gives us an advantage in taking hits…. We have stronger ligaments…. There are very clear and obvious advantages…”
An attorney with the conservative Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), told the Committee that a similar bill survived in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and thus, he was confident it was constitutional and would ensure that women athletes would compete on a “fair and level playing field.”
“It protects opportunities for women and girls,” said Sharp, “by ensuring women are not forced to compete against men playing on women’s teams.”
SB1165 “requires any athletic team that is sponsored by a public or private school to be designated based on the biological sex of the student participants. It allows injunctive relief, damages and any other relief available under law for students or schools that suffer any direct or indirect harm due to a violation.”
- Requires each interscholastic or intramural athletic team or sport sponsored by a public or private school whose students or teams compete against a public school to be expressly designated as one of the following based on the biological sex of the participating students: a) males, men or boys; b) females, women or girls; or c) coed or mixed.
- Prohibits athletic teams or sports designated for females, women or girls from being open to students of the male sex.
- Deems any student eligible to participate in any interscholastic or intramural athletic team or sport designated as being for males, men or boys or designated as coed or mixed.
- Prohibits a government entity, any licensing or accrediting organization or any athletic association or organization from entertaining a complaint, opening an investigation or taking any other adverse action against a school for maintaining separate interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports for students of the female sex.
- States that any student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a school knowingly violating the Save Women’s Sports Act has a private cause of action for injunctive relief, damages and any other relief available under law against the school.
- States that any student who is subject to any adverse action by a school or an athletic association because the student reported a violation of the Save Women’s Sports Act has a private cause of action for injunctive relief, damages and any other relief available under law against the school or the athletic association.
- States that any school that suffers any direct or indirect harm because of a violation of the Save Women’s Sports Act has a private cause of action for injunctive relief, damages and any other relief available under law against the government entity, the licensing or accrediting organization or the athletic association or organization.
- Requires all civil actions to be initiated within two years after the alleged violation of the Save Women’s Sports Act.
- Entitles a person who prevails on a claim brought pursuant to the Save Women’s Sports Act to monetary damages including: a) damages for any psychological, emotional or physical harm suffered; b) reasonable attorney fees; and c) costs and any other appropriate relief.
- Designates this legislation as the Save Women’s Sports Act.
Watch Entire Hearing: