Bans on trans athletes gain momentum in state legislatures
One of the first priorities of ruling President Joe Biden was to reverse the anti-transgender policies of former President Donald Trump. In response, conservative state lawmakers are introducing their own anti-trans bills, seeking to limit transgender and non-binary people ‘s access to health care, toilets, and perhaps more specifically sports.
Some of them are already starting to pass.
On Biden’s first day in the White House, he signed a decree forcing transgender students to be able to learn without facing gender discrimination. He later rescinded the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service. At the end of January, lawmakers in six states presented bills aimed at limiting the participation of transgender athletes. Last year, 20 such measures were presented.
Currently, there are eight bills in seven states aimed at restricting transgender rights, according to the ACLU.
Last week, North Dakota House lawmakers passed a bill this would prohibit public schools from allowing students to participate in sports teams that do not match their biological sex. Almost 1,500 miles south, the Mississippi State Senate adopted law which would ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s or women’s sports in state schools and universities.
Despite the national fervor surrounding the issue, Idaho is the only successful state promulgated a law banning transgender athletes from participating in female sports, and this is currently pending in federal court. Last August, a judge issued a temporary injunction suspend the edict.
In neighboring Montana, the house recently rejected a bill it would punish doctors for providing gender affirmation procedures to trans children, while passing legislation that would not allow trans athletes to compete on teams in accordance with their gender identity.
Over the past year, several girls have been challenge a law in Connecticut which allows trans athletes to participate in women’s sports. The lawsuit centers on two transgender sprinters, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, who often outperformed their cisgender counterparts, although it is worth mentioning one of the plaintiffs in the case. beat Miller twice in eight days in February 2020.
There is no definitive proof that trans athletes have a competitive advantage. As the associate editor of Outsports, I continuously cover young transgender athletes. Consistently, they just want to play like everyone else.
Yet the issue served as a rallying cry for grassroots conservatives, leading to the passage of a range of bills by state legislatures in recent years. But often, Republican governors have ultimately vetoed anti-LGBTQ legislation, following pressure from sports leagues. Over the summer, the NCAA said it consider removing March Madness Boise games due to anti-trans law.
In 2015, then Indiana Governor Mike Pence amended an anti-LGBTQ ordinance after a flurry of backlash from businesses, including the NCAA and NASCAR. The following year, the governor of Georgia vetoed controversial “religious freedom” bill after the NFL threatened to withdraw the Super Bowl.
But this time around, the federal government is once again focusing on transgender athletes. Earlier this month, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hurry Dr Miguel Cardona, candidate for secretary of education, on his take on the issue, ridiculing the notion of trans inclusion as “weird”. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) also expressed his opposition trans athletes competing with their corresponding gender identity.
With Democrats currently in control of the federal government, efforts to prevent transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports are unlikely to gain much legislative weight in DC.