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Ky. Bills Limit Sex Reassignment, Transgender Participation In Sports

Josh James

Gender identity is at the center of two bills recently filed by Republican lawmakers in Kentucky. One introduces new rules for high school and college athletics and the other limits sex reassignment procedures.

Senate Bill 114 – named the “Save Women’s Sports Act” – requires student athletes to compete in school sports based on the “biological sex” listed on their birth certificate, sidestepping questions about how students may identify their gender. The measure, introduced by Henderson Senator Robby Mills, also bars school districts from entertaining complaints, investigating, or taking any other adverse action against schools for maintaining the defined teams.

Current guidelines set by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association permit transgender students to compete on teams that align with their gender identity if they have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

A separate bill in the House would ban that surgery and related medications for minors. Under House Bill 321, physicians performing surgeries or prescribing medications to anyone under 18 with the goal of altering the sex of the patient could be charged with a felony.

The measure would also grant parents the authority to withhold consent of “any activity designed and intended to form their child’s conception of sex or to treat gender dysphoria” and create protections for public employees expressing opinions about gender identity.

Lawmakers gaveled in Monday for the 14th day of their 60-day legislative session.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.