LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Republican Nevada lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that would exclude trans students from competing in athletic events — unless they compete against others who were born the same “biological sex.”
Assembly Bill 374 (AB374) lists 16 sponsors and cosponsors — all Republican — in the Nevada Senate and Assembly. Bert Gurr, who represents most of four counties that make up eastern Nevada and more than half of Nye County, is the bill’s primary sponsor. Seven of the Republicans represent districts in Clark County.
The bill has been referred to the Assembly Education Committee. No action has been taken.
The bill sets biological sex — the gender listed on a birth certificate — as the only thing that matters in the sports in which students are allowed to compete.
AB374 would require the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) to adopt rules and regulations that eliminate any choice in the matter. The bill also commands the state’s colleges and universities to follow suit, and requires youth sports organizations to make similar rules.
The spirit of the legislation is the opposite approach taken by the International Olympic Committee, which has worked to open opportunities for athletes to compete against athletes of the gender group with which they identify.
The question has produced emotional debate on both sides, and the case of a transgender woman — Penn swimmer Lia Thomas — has made national headlines. A Sports Illustrated article delves into the subject in a 2022 report that the magazine says it will continue to update as policies change.
AB374 confines participation to three categories:
- “A male, boys’ or men’s interscholastic activity or event, open for participation only by those pupils who are biological males.”
- “A female, girls’ or women’s interscholastic activity or event, open for participation only by those pupils who are biological females.”
- “A coeducational or mixed interscholastic activity or event, open for participation only by those pupils who are biological males and biological females.”