Republicans on the House Health and Human Services Committee advanced the measure in a party-line vote on Thursday following two hours of passionate testimony from people on both sides of the issue.
Supports told lawmakers that it's unfair for girls to compete against athletes who carry male biological traits. Opponents said the measure effectively excludes transgender girls from participating in sports and learning the skills that come with it, such as teamwork and camaraderie.
The legislation allows only biological women or girls to play on female teams and requires a doctor's note to prove a person is female if their birth sex is disputed. It allows lawsuits by students who believe they've missed opportunities because a transgender person is on a school team.
It would apply to K-12 schools, community colleges, and state universities but only to female teams. Similar legislation has been proposed in several other states, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
On Wednesday, the families of three female high school runners filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from participating in girls sports.