Kim Reynolds prohibits transgender girls from playing female sports

New legislation bans concepts that label America and Iowa as systemically racist, and it is intended to prevent racial and sex scapegoating. 

Screenshot of Kim Reynolds' virtual press conference

New legislation bans concepts that label America and Iowa as “systemically racist,” and it is intended to prevent “racial and sex scapegoating.” 

Matt Belinson

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Thursday banning transgender girls and women from competing in female sports offered by any Iowa school, college or university.

The law, House File 2416, goes into effect immediately and allows participation in sports based upon the biological sex listed on the athlete’s birth certificate.

In more specific terms, only students who are female according to their birth certificate will be eligible to compete in girls’ sports in the state.

“This is a victory for girls’ sports in Iowa,” Reynolds said in a press release announcing the passing of the law. “No amount of talent, training or effort can make up for the natural physical advantages males have over females. It’s simply a reality of human biology.”

“Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.”

This law requires schools at all levels of the state to designate sporting events as one of the following:

  • “Males, men, boys”
  • “Females, women or girls”
  • “Coeducational or mixed”

The law states students can pursue “action for injunctive, mandamus, damages and declaratory relief” against a respective school if “a student suffers direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation” of the law.

The bill makes no mention of the eligibility of transgender boys or men in sports.

Iowa becomes the 11th state in the U.S. to pass such legislation, joining Texas, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida and West Virginia.

A spokesperson for Iowa State University could not be reached for comment for this story. Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard could also not be reached for comment Thursday.