MONTGOMERY — Legislation barring college athletes from participating in sports that do not correspond to their biological sex passed the Alabama Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

Alabama law prohibits individuals from participating in sports teams that do not correspond to their biological sex in all public K-12 schools. However, university athletics are governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

House Bill 261 (HB261), sponsored by State Rep. Susan DuBose (R-Hoover), would require all public two-year and four-year institutions of higher education to prohibit biological males from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for females and vice versa.

The bill has proven controversial but has drawn less debate and pushback than many lawmakers expected.

Dubose presented her bill to the Senate committee on Wednesday, receiving a favorable report in under five minutes. The only "no" vote came from State Sen. Kirk Hatcher (D-Montgomery).

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education proposed changing Title IX regulations to force schools to allow trans-student-athletes to compete according to their gender identity. If approved, the proposed bill could open the state up to litigation should Dubose's bill become law.

The bill will now proceed to the Senate floor for a vote.

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