CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia State Senate passed HB 3293 Thursday, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary level consistent with their gender identity. The bill now heads back to the House for concurrence on the Senate version.
West Virginia is one of 30 states that has introduced a slate of discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ legislation this session, part of a fast and furious effort led by national anti-LGBTQ groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states.
“This fight is far from over,” said Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider. “Transgender kids across West Virginia deserve love, support, and the chance to fully participate in the sport they love, and we’ll continue standing up for them every day. Senators have unfortunately made this bad bill even worse by extending the transgender athlete ban to cover colleges and universities without any regard for how that could affect West Virginia University’s standing with the NCAA. This bill is bad for business, it’s bad for our state’s image, and it’s bad for kids who are just looking to belong.”
There are so far more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 105 directly target transgender people and about half of those (56 bills) would, like HB 3293, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.
The majority of the legislative efforts are driven by the Heritage Foundation and the Alliance Defending Freedom, (ADF), a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group. The first anti-trans sports bill was in Montana, HB 112, and was pushed by and worked on by the ADF.