Men identifying as women and boys identifying as girls can no longer participate in women’s sports in the state of Louisiana. Republican’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act is now in effect.
Louisiana was the eighteenth state to enact such a ban prohibiting both biological men from competing in women’s sports and biological women from competing in men’s sports. In addition to ensuring certain advantages correlated with biological sex could not be exploited for an unfair advantage, the act provides schools immunity from “adverse actions,” which is to say grievance lawsuits.
This particular act first became law June 6 without Gov. John Bel Edward’s signature, who had previously vetoed similar legislation in 2021. Its successful passage was rendered veto-proof by overwhelming majority support, with 72 in favor and only 21 opposed.
While the bill represented a victory for women in the state, outside the state and in national competitions, the win might not carry.
The Board of Governors at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) updated its policies earlier this year, indicating that “transgender participation for each sport [will] be determined by the policy for the national governing body of that sport.” The chair of the NCAA board, John DeGioia, emphasized that the NCAA is “steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports.”
Among the governing bodies the NCAA defers to on the matter of transgender participation in women’s sports is the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which no longer requires male athletes to undergo procedures or treatment to qualify as their assumed gender.
New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard, for instance, was permitted under the IOC’s rules to compete during the women’s weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games in August 2021.
It’s not just the governing bodies that stand to render women’s sports co-ed. Democrat-controlled states like Michigan are codifying the language of sexual orientation and gender identity into civil rights law, which would make it difficult to pass laws like Louisiana’s protecting women’s sports.
Even where such laws have been passed, there is federal pushback. On July 26, a federal judge blocked Indianapolis Public Schools from prohibiting boys from participating in girl’s sports, claiming that it possibly “violates Title IX and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock V. Clayton County.”