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Republican senator Kelly Loeffler wants to rewrite civil rights laws to legally erase trans kids from sports

Nick Duffy September 23, 2020
US senator Kelly Loeffler

US senator Kelly Loeffler (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Republican senator Kelly Loeffler has submitted a bill that attempts to rewrite a key civil rights law to legally erase transgender kids and bar them from taking part in school sports.

The Georgia senator on Tuesday (22 September) submitted a bill in the US Senate that would rewrite parts of Title IX, a civil rights law passed in 1972 that protects people from sex-based discrimination in education programs.

Republican senator Kelly Loeffler files anti-trans bill.

Loeffler’s planned amendment seeks to define sex as “based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth” for the purposes of athletics, and bar trans people from taking part in sporting events in their true gender.

It states that any recipient of federal funds “who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities… [must not] permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls”.

Per a release, the bill is intended to “make sure schools keep girls’ sports for girls” – although, by defining gender as based solely on reproductive biology and genetics, it would logically compel cisgender teenage girls to compete against transgender boys and non-binary people.

In addition to Loeffler, the bill is co-sponsored by four notoriously anti-LGBT+ Republican senators – ‘freedom to discriminate’ backer Mike Lee, anti-trans JK Rowling megafan James Lankford, Taylor Swift foe Marsha Blackburn and Tom Cotton, whose interns like to rant about “f****ts”.

Republican senator Kelly Loeffler
Republican senator Kelly Loeffler (Toni L. Sandys-Pool/Getty Images)

In a release, Loeffler said: “Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception.

“As someone who learned invaluable life lessons and built confidence playing sports throughout my life, I’m proud to lead this legislation to ensure girls of all ages can enjoy those same opportunities. This common sense bill protects women and girls by safeguarding fairness and levelling the athletic field that Title IX guarantees.”

The bill is backed by a swathe of anti-LGBT+ hate groups including the Family Research Council, run by Trump ally Tony Perkins.

Perkins, whose group has long fought to deny women access to healthcare, claimed the bill would “help ensure that girls are afforded the opportunity to play on a level playing field”.

Republicans have been targeting trans people ahead of November election.

Even if the bill passes the Republican-controlled Senate, the legislation is likely to die a swift death in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

However, it will serve its likely-intended purpose of providing plenty of culture wars fuel for Loeffler, who is facing a tough re-election battle on 3 November.

The Trump administration was earlier this month accused of “effectively extorting” school districts in Connecticut by threatening to pull federal funding over trans-inclusive rules.

Citing the trans inclusive policies of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the governing body for high school athletics in the state, the Department of Education’s office for civil rights threatened three school districts with the withdrawal of lose $18 million in desegregation funding –  the removal of which could have a devastating impact for Black students in the area.

More: Family Research Council, Kelly Loeffler, Republican, Senate, trans athletes, trans kids, transphobia

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