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Alabama Governor Kay IveyGovernor Kay Ivey/YouTube

MONTGOMERY (LifeSiteNews) — Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation Tuesday limiting sex-specific college athletic competitions to actual members of the designated sex, declaring the issue a matter of simple fairness.

HB 261 declares that, starting August 1, an “intercollegiate or intramural athletic team or sport sponsored by a public two-year or four-year institution of higher education that is designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to a biological male,” and vice versa for males and female teams.

The new law further forbids formal complaints, investigations, or other adverse action against schools for “maintaining separate athletic teams or sports for students” on the basis of biological sex or against students for reporting violations of the law.

“Any student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this section shall have a private cause of action for injunctive relief, damages, attorney fees, and any other relief available under the law,” it says.

“Look, if you are a biological male, you are not going to be competing in women’s and girls’ sports in Alabama,” Ivey said in support of the law, 1818 News reports. “It’s about fairness, plain and simple.” 

The governor also called out ESPN for saying that she banned “transgender women” from female teams, reminding the liberal sports network that such “women” are actually men.

Mandatory inclusion of gender-confused individuals in opposite-sex sports is promoted by the left as a matter of “inclusivity,” but critics note that indulging “transgender” athletes in this way undermines the original rational basis for having sex-specific athletics in the first place, thereby depriving female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities. 

There have been numerous high-profile examples in recent years of men winning women’s competitions, and research affirms that physiology gives males distinct athletic advantages that cannot be fully negated by hormone suppression.

In a 2019 paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy;” therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [biological men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

Last year, Ivey also signed laws banning gender “transition” procedures for minors, LGBT proselytization in public schools, and students of one sex accessing school restrooms designated for the opposite sex.