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THOMASTON, Georgia (LifeSiteNews) – An athletic association of more than 400 Georgia schools this week banned students from competing in high school sports based their on “gender identity” rather than their biological sex.

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) on Wednesday voted to repeal a 2016 policy that let individual schools and school districts decide whether gender-confused students could join teams for the opposite sex. The association’s constitution now affirms that “a student’s sex is determined by the sex noted on his/her certificate at birth,” according to meeting minutes.

The GHSA is a “voluntary organization composed of over 465 public and private high schools,” the group’s website states.

The new policy, which passed in a near-unanimous vote, takes effect immediately, GHSA executive director Robin Hines told CNN.

“We don’t want to discriminate against anybody, but that includes biological girls,” Hines commented to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ahead of Wednesday’s vote. “There are competitive imbalances generally between biological females and biological males.”

“This is focusing on athletic equity and competitive balance,” he said.

Hines added that the move simply reinstates years-long requirements prior to 2016 mandating that athletes compete based on the sex listed on their birth certificate.

READ: Tennessee law defunds schools that allow ‘trans’ athletes in girls’ sports

The GHSA’s motion comes after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp last week signed a bill reiterating the association’s authority to restrict girls’ sports to actual females amid rising outrage over so-called “transgender” males dominating female athletics at the high schoolcollege, and professional levels.

“Following my signature on HB 1084, the Georgia High School Association today voted to protect fairness in school sports by unanimously approving youth to compete according to the sex determined on his/her birth certificate,” the Republican tweeted Wednesday. “I’m proud to have championed this effort in Georgia.”

Conservative advocacy group Frontline Policy Council also praised the GHSA’s new policy, hailing it as a victory for science and sports fairness.

“GHSA’s action today recognizes science, reflects reality and restores fairness,” Frontline Policy Council president Cole Muzio said.

“Biological males should not and WILL NOT be playing girls sports in Georgia!” the group said in a Facebook post.

At least 15 states with Republican-dominated legislatures have enacted laws in recent years to preserve sex-specific sports and prohibit males from competing against females.

But despite controlling the Georgia statehouse, GOP lawmakers failed to pass a similar outright ban in Georgia due to pushback from pro-LGBT Republican colleagues. Longtime Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, in particular, blocked putting a ban into state law, according to the Associated Press.

Ralston told reporters he “didn’t want transgender children ‘targeted,’ and planned to tell GHSA as much,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday.