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'Save Women's Sports Act' debated in Annapolis

Posted at 5:25 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 17:25:51-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Preventing people born biologically male from competing in girls JV and varsity high school athletics is the goal of Delegate Kathy Szeliga's 'Save Women's Sports Act.'

"It's about protecting women's rights, it's about fairness to women and it's about protecting women's opportunities," said Delegate Szeliga.

Some people feel the bill discriminates against transgender women, like Delegate Joe Vogel.

"We know that transgender and non-binary children have a much higher rate of depression, anxiety and suicide and bills like this contribute to this problem," said Delegate Vogel, a democrat from Montgomery County.

So far, 17 states have bills like this one.

Szeliga says she's heard from women across the country who are in support of bills just like hers.

"Ensuring that all the hard work that female athletes put in to winning, succeeding, achieving that they are the ones who get the podium," said Szeliga.

Several former female collegiate athletes spoke at the committee hearing like Marshi Smith who joined the meeting virtually.

She says the biological differences between people born male and people born female is a safety issue as well.

"In certain sports there are girls being put in positions today where they are risking their own safety because they are completely unaware that there is a male competitor on the team they are opposing," said Smith.

The bill has major republican support but democrats hold the power in the ways and means committee.

We asked Delegate Vogel if he believes the bill will get passed out of the committee, he replied quickly saying, "No."