BC Defeats Bill to Protect Women’s Sports Before It Even Gets Going



May 14, 2024
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The BC legislature recently voted down a bill that sought to protect women’s sports by basing participation in publicly funded sports programs on biological sex. In an unprecedented move, the bill was defeated at first reading.

Following modern gender ideology, British Columbia has decided to amend its human rights legislation to prevent discrimination based on gender identity (as well as gender expression and sexual orientation). This legislative commitment to recognize self-declared identities and so disregard the way that God created individuals as male or female has been working itself out in our culture for several years now.

Men’s vs Women’s Ability in Sport

One way that modern gender ideology works itself out is in sports organizations allowing individuals to compete on a gendered team based on their self-reported identity rather than their biological sex. This is especially problematic for women’s sports because of the physiological advantages that men have in most sports. Statistically speaking, men are taller, faster, and stronger than women. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some women who are better at a given sport than some men – imagine a volleyball game pitting a team of high school boys who have never played a game of volleyball in their lives against a high school’s competitive girls’ team. But it does mean that, when you gather the best male and female athletes together in sporting competitions, the best of the male athletes will have a competitive advantage over the best of the female athletes.

Take, for example, a well-known wager by Venus and Serena Williams, arguably the two best female tennis players ever. They claimed that they could beat any male tennis player ranked outside of the top 200 in the world. That already is an admittance that there were likely 200 male tennis players in the world that were better than the top two women in the world. Male German tennis player Karsten Braasch, ranked 203 in the world, took up the challenge and played a friendly match against both sisters, beating Serena Williams 6-1 and Venus Williams 6-2.

Because of God-given differences in the physical abilities of men and women, competitive sports have been generally segregated by sex in the modern era. In fact, some in the athletic world have lamented the lack of professional women’s sports and made a conscious effort to recruit, promote, and popularize professional women’s sports. For example, the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) formed this year in an effort to create the first unified, salaried, and stable women’s professional hockey league in North America to emulate the NHL.

None of this is sexist, misogynistic, or transphobic. It’s an effort to give women the chance to compete equally against peers.

The Fairness in Women’s and Girls’ Sports Act

In an effort to recognize these biological differences between men and women and preserve the integrity of women’s sports, John Rustad, the leader of the BC Conservatives, introduced the Fairness in Women’s and Girls’ Sports Act. It would have required that eligibility to play gendered sports be based on biological sex rather than self-declared gender identity. This piece of legislation was “an entirely female-led initiative from start to finish. The bill was written by women and girls for women and girls.”

Now, every piece of legislation in each provincial legislature has to go through five stages. First reading is generally a formality where bills are introduced in the legislature with an introductory comment. There is a formal vote, but in virtually every case the bill is passed on to second reading. Second reading is where there is substantial debate on the merits and flaws of the bill. If a bill survives second reading, it goes on to committee where it gets examined more closely by a small number of MLAs who, from time to time, propose amendments to strengthen the bill. After committee, the bill goes to third reading for a final vote. If it passes third reading in the legislature, the lieutenant governor gives royal assent to the bill and it becomes law.

But the Fairness in Women’s and Girls’ Sports Act didn’t even make it past first reading. This is incredibly unusual; none of the ARPA staff can recall any other piece of legislation that failed to pass first reading.

Yet in this case, the NDP caucus, the Green caucus, and the two independents in the legislature voted against the legislation at first reading. NDP house leader Ravi Kahlon justified this rare step in saying that this “was a piece of legislation that we believe is hateful and discriminatory. This was a matter of principle for my colleagues.” Green party leader Sonia Furstenau said, “What we should be striving for in this province is political discourse that brings people together and doesn’t sow hatred and anger and fear.”

These remarks show how some political parties and figures in British Columbia are entirely unwilling to publicly acknowledge any of the basic differences between men and women. Rather than debate a piece of legislation that aims to create a level playing field in women’s sports, they claim that even having this discussion is hateful, discriminatory, and fear mongering.

In the coming months leading up to October’s provincial election, British Columbians will have the opportunity to force provincial candidates to have these conversations, debate the actual merits of policies, and state where they stand on issues like this… but only if we raise these questions to our provincial candidates. So, find out who your provincial candidates are (check out the NDP, United, Green, and Conservative party websites), reach out to them to ask where they stand on gender identity issues (and a whole variety of other issues), and get involved in the electoral process even now.

Because the legislation never made it past first reading, there is no record of the bill on the BC Legislature website. For those who are interested, here is the text of the bill that Rustad posted to X.

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