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Republican politician introduces law to ban trans athletes from playing on teams that match their gender identity

Patrick Kelleher January 3, 2020
Republican lawmaker Bruce Griffey introduces bill that would stop trans athletes from playing on correct team

Pexels

A Republican lawmaker in Tennessee has introduced a bill which would prevent trans athletes in schools from playing on teams that match their gender identity.

Tennessee Representative Bruce Griffey has introduced the bill. If passed, trans students who participate in team sport would have to play as the wrong gender in the state.

He has claimed that he wants to ensure fairness in team sports at school level and insisted that there is “no ill will” intended by House Bill 1572, Nashville Channel 5 reports.

“What it’s simply trying to do is, I think science and experience and just society,” the Republican said. “We all know that traditionally males generally have bigger hearts, bigger upper body strength, and that can give them a genetic advantage when competing against women in a number of sports.”

The bizarre Republican law could see schools fined $10,000 for allowing trans students to play as the correct gender.

Under the bizarre law, schools could be fined $10,000 if they were to allow a trans student participate in a team sport in line with their gender identity.

If the bill is passed, state officials who knowingly violate the ban would be forced to give up their position and would be ineligible to hold any public office for a five year period.

Some members of the General Assembly have not made an effort to understand that trans youth are a part of our school population and we need to serve and protect them like all students.

The new bill has been slammed by LGBT+ activists in the state. Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project told Nashville Channel 5: “Some members of the General Assembly have not made an effort to understand that trans youth are a part of our school population and we need to serve and protect them like all students.”

He said the bill is part of the “2020 slate of hate bills,” a series of bills designed to attack the LGBT+ community in Tennessee this year. He called the new bill “insulting to trans youth.”

Various LGBT+ sport organisations have repeatedly debunked claims that trans people have a competitive advantage.

The myth that trans women have an advantage over cisgender women in sport is pervasive, despite the fact that numerous LGBT+ sporting organisations have repeatedly debunked the claims.

Last year, lesbian tennis player Martina Navratilova sparked controversy when she wrote a column for The Sunday Times arguing that trans athletes should not be allowed to compete in competitive sport. LGBT+ sporting organisation Athlete Ally subsequently cut ties with her and released a statement debunking her claims.

Athlete Ally pointed out that “there is no evidence at all that the average trans woman is any bigger, stronger, or faster than the average cisgender woman, but there is evidence that often when athletes lower testosterone through hormone replacement therapy, performance goes down.”

More: Bruce Griffey, school, sport, Tennessee, Transgender

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