Engrossed Version Senate Bill 601 History

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WEST virginia legislature

2024 regular session


Committee Substitute


Senate Bill 601

By Senators Grady, Boley, Chapman, Rucker, Roberts, Swope, Phillips, Karnes, Taylor, Stuart, Tarr, Woodrum, Martin, Hunt, Maynard, and Deeds

[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary; reported February 26, 2024]





A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-67-1, §16-67-2, §16-67-3, §16-67-4, and §16-67-5, relating only to statutory construction creating the Women’s Bill of Rights; providing a short title and statement of purpose; defining terms; establishing rules of construction for statutes and ordinances addressing sex discrimination, sex equality, and sex specific benefits or services; declaring state interest in single sex environments; establishing rules of construction in statutes and ordinances related to the sex of a person or persons; and creating protocols for data collection.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

chapter 16. publIc health.

Article 67. West Virginia Women's Bill of Rights Act.


§16-67-1. Short title; purposes; general application.

(a) This act shall be known, and may be cited as, the West Virginia Women’s Bill of Rights.

(b) The purpose of the West Virginia Women’s Bill of Rights is to bring clarity, certainty, and uniformity to the laws of the state regarding sex discrimination, equality of the sexes, and benefits or services specifically provided to males and to females.

(c) The West Virginia Women’s Bill of Rights applies wherever West Virginia, or an instrumentality of the state, classifies people on the basis of sex or otherwise defines people as being female or male, women or men, girls or boys; the definitions contained in §16-67-2 of this code apply.

§16-67-2. Definitions of terms used in statutory construction.


(a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, with respect to the application of an individual’s biological sex pursuant to any state laws, rules, regulations, or official public policies, the following shall apply:

(1) An individual’s “sex” means such individual’s biological sex, either male or female, at birth;

(2) A "female", when used in reference to a natural person, is an individual who has, had, will have, or would have (but for a developmental anomaly, genetic anomaly, or accident) the reproductive system that at some point produces ova;

(3) A “male” when used in reference to a natural person, means an individual who has, had, will have, or would have (but for a developmental anomaly, genetic anomaly, or accident) the reproductive system that at some point produces sperm;

(4) A “woman" is an adult human of the female sex, and a "man" is an adult human of the male sex;

(5) A "girl" is a human female who has not yet reached adulthood, and a "boy" is a human male who has not yet reached adulthood;

(6) A "mother" is a female parent of a child or children as those terms are defined in this code; a "father" is a male parent of a child or children as those terms are defined in this code;

(7) "Equal" does not mean "same" or "identical" with respect to equality of the sexes;

(8) A person's "sex" is his or her biological sex (either male or female) at birth.

(A) There are only two sexes, and every individual is either male or female;

(B) "Sex" is objective and fixed; and

(C) "Sex" does not include "gender identity" or any other terms intended to convey a person’s subjective sense of self; "gender identity" and other subjective terms may not be used as synonyms or substitutes for "sex".

(b) Individuals with "differences in sex development" (also known as "DSD" or "intersex conditions") are not a third sex. Individuals with a congenital and medically verifiable DSD diagnosis must be accommodated consistent with state and federal law.

§16-67-3. Sex discrimination; single-sex environments.


(a) Any state policy, program, or statute that prohibits sex discrimination shall be construed to pertain to females or males.

(b)  Because the state has an important interest in preventing unjust discrimination and in maintaining safety, privacy, and fairness, West Virginia and its political subdivisions and instrumentalities may provide separate single-sex environments.

(c) Wherever West Virginia or its political subdivisions or instrumentalities, in fact, provide separate single-sex environments for males and females, the definitions established in §16-67-2 of this code must apply.

§16-67-4. Data collection.


(a) Any public school, public school district, agency, department, or instrumentality of the state that collects vital statistics related to sex for the purpose of complying with state or federal anti-discrimination laws or for the purpose of gathering accurate public health, crime, economic, or other data shall identify each natural person who is part of the collected data set as either male or female as defined in this article.

(b) Compliance with this section shall not require the collection of data regarding sex unless otherwise required by law, and it shall not prevent the collection of additional data points other than biological sex.


§16-67-5. Severability.

If any provision of this article, an amendment made by this article, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this article, the amendments made by this article, and the application of the provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.


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