Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Signs Bill Protecting Girls’ Sports

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill into law Thursday protecting girls’ sports programs up to the collegiate level so biological men cannot compete against them.

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Reynolds, who gave the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, called it a “victory for girls’ sports” her state.

“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 Reynolds. “Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.”

H.R. 2416, which Republicans said protects Title IX protections for females, requires schools to designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed.

Only students who are female according to their birth certificate will be eligible to compete in girls’ sports. No student will be prevented from playing a sport that matches his or her biological sex, or a sport designated as co-ed.

More than 40 businesses have come out against the law — including Amazon, American Airlines, AT&T, and Wells Fargo — calling it anti-LGBTQ.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious liberty nonprofit that has been in the fight to protect young girls from being forced to play against men, commended Iowa for taking a strong stand.

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“When the law ignores biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete,” ADF Senior Counsel Christiana Holcomb said in a statement. “Comparably fit and trained males will always have physical advantages over females—that’s the reason we have girls’ sports. We have seen increasing examples across the country of males dominating girls’ athletic competitions when competing as females, capturing championships, and shattering long-standing female records.”

Holcomb added: “We commend lead sponsors Rep. Skyler Wheeler, Rep. Henry Stone, Sen. Tim Goodwin, other supporters in the Iowa Legislature, and Gov. Reynolds for protecting the ability of Iowa’s women and girls to compete on a level playing field by enacting this important legislation.”