The hot-button issue of transgender athletes participating in women’s sports is coming to a head in state legislatures across the country.
Nationwide, there are more than 70 bills in 26 state governments that would prevent transgender athletes from participating in sports using their preferred gender instead of their biological sex, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Conservatives argue that allowing transgender women to play against biological women would present them with an unfair advantage that would hurt biological women, while Democrats argue that such a policy would isolate and discriminate against people who are trying to embrace their gender identity.
Here are the states that have such bans in place:
Mississippi: Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill on Thursday stating that “students of the male sex” are not allowed to play on “athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or girls.”
Idaho: Gov. Brad Little, in March, signed a measure that effectively barred transgender athletes from participating in sports that align with their gender identity. A judge issued a temporary injunction in August preventing the state from enacting the law.
South Dakota: Gov. Kristi Noem said she intends to sign a bill that was passed in the state Legislature days ago that will prevent transgender athletes from playing with and against people of the same gender identity.
Here are the other states where there are bills in the state legislature that would prevent transgender athletes from playing with and against biological women: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut,, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia, per the ACLU.
President Biden made his position on the issue known on his first day in office, when he signed an executive order focused on “preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” which stated, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”
House Democrats, along with three Republican defectors, followed Biden’s proclamation by passing the Equality Act on Feb. 25, which would include “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as classes protected under the Civil Rights Act. The bill, passed 224-206, would expand on last year’s Supreme Court ruling that the Civil Rights Act bans employment discrimination based on sexual or gender identity.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised to put the legislation up for a vote in his chamber but didn’t say when. A similar bill passed in the House in the last Congress, but the Republican-controlled Senate never brought it up for a vote.
Author : Mike Brest
Source : Washington Examiner : Transgender athletes in women’s sports: 70 bills across 26 states designed to protect female participants