Lawmakers likely to drop genital inspections from Ohio transgender athlete ban

“I’m not sure why that’s in the bill, it’s unnecessary,” said state Senate President Matt Huffman

Updated: June 17, 2022 - 5:26pm

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Speaking at a City Club of Cleveland forum on Wednesday, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffmann, R, indicated that a proposed ban on transgender athletes participating in women's sports would not clear the state Senate due to its inclusion of a provision requiring student athletes to undergo genital inspections.

He further stipulated that the provision would likely not make into whatever draft of the legislation that potentially clears the chamber, calling the measure "unnecessary," according to The Hill.

The Ohio House in early June passed legislation requiring transgender athletes to prove their biological sex and to participate in sports groups consistent with it. The House version includes provisions for students to submit to genital examinations and DNA analysis to confirm their biological sex, the former being drawing criticism for potentially exposing children to greater risk of sexual abuse, per The Hill.

“That is a highlight that a lot of people like to talk about because it outrages a lot of people,” Huffman said of the genital exams, adding "it’s not necessary, it’s not going to happen.” He went on to assert that the DNA exams were sufficient to confirm the athlete's sex. “All of these tests can be done with a simple DNA swab,” he said.

Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said in 2021 that he would veto a transgender sports ban should it reach his desk, according to cincinnati.com. He has yet to comment on the current legislation.

Should the bill reach DeWine's desk and receive his signature, Ohio would join 18 other states, largely under Republican leadership, that have passed legislation requiring student athletes to compete according to their biological sex. Louisiana, in early June, became the latest state to adopt such a policy after Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards declined to veto or sign it.