CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Transgender middle- and high-schoolers wouldn’t be allowed to play on sports teams matching their gender identity under a bill the West Virginia House Education Committee introduced and advanced Tuesday.
This ban would apply only to sports under the supervision of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, which includes public schools broadly and some major private schools, such as Charleston Catholic. Co-ed sports would not be affected.
West Virginia is the latest in a string of states pushing bills like this.
The so-far-nameless and unnumbered bill might be illegal, because of federal-level decisions on transgender rights, said Eli Baumwell, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia.
There’s a 2020 ruling from the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers West Virginia, that upholds transgender students’ rights to use bathrooms matching their gender identity. It could mean transgender students have sports access rights, as well…