South Carolina governor signs bill barring transgender youth from participating in public school and collegiate women’s sports

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed a bill into law on May 16, 2022, that prohibits transgender students from participating in women’s sports at public schools and colleges in the state. The new law requires students to play on sports teams that match the gender assigned on their birth certificates. The South Carolina House of Representatives passed House Bill 4608 by a vote of 70 to 33. 

Earlier this month, McMaster said, “I think the girls ought to play girls and the boys ought to play boys. That’s the way we’ve always done it.” Supporters of H.B. 4608 argue transgender girls would have an unfair advantage on women’s sports teams. They suggest transgender athletes could soon make up the majority of athletes receiving podium spots and awards.

Ivy Hill, Executive Director of Gender Benders and the Community Health Program Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, told NPR, “Transgender youth are not a threat to fairness in sports, and this law now needlessly stigmatizes young people who are simply trying to navigate their adolescence, make friends, and build skills like teamwork and leadership, winning and losing.”

Additional reading: