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Tennessee Moves Step Closer To Banning Trans Athletes From Girls' Sports

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Tennessee Moves Step Closer To Banning Trans Athletes From Girls' Sports

Tennessee has moved a step closer to introducing legislation that will prevent trans students from competing in girls' sports.

The Republican-led state has been brewing the legal document to ensure people who are transgender in middle and high school aren't able to play sport in the women's division.

Politicians believe it gives male-to-female students an unfair advantage because they were originally born male, regardless of what their body type might be.

If the bill passes, it will require student athletes to prove their sex matches that listed on the student's 'original' birth certificate before they play sport.

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Parents will have to provide additional evidence if they can't produce a birth certificate.

Republican Senator Joey Hensley said: "This bill is about guaranteeing safety and a level playing field for girl athletes on middle and high school team."

Hensley has admitted he didn't consult with any transgender groups before organising the bill for the state parliament.

Republicans also control the House in Tennessee, meaning the bill is likely to be approved.

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The party has been warned it could face costly legal challenges if the bill is signed into law and some have even questioned whether it's necessary.

Democrats and advocacy groups are furious and have labeled it a close-minded piece of legislation that won't help maligned people in the community.

Democrat Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro said: "In passing this, we're not going to help a single kid. We're going to make life harder for kids whose lives are already difficult."

Tennessee Equality Project executive director Chris Sanders added: "Supporters of SB228 never produced evidence that there is a need for this legislation. It never was about sports. It was always about discrimination against transgender students."

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If the bill passes through the House, then it will be up to Governor Bill Lee to sign it.

According to Associated Press, he has previously stated he will hold off signing the legislation, however he has also made his views on the subject very clear.

He said last month: "I do believe that transgenders participating in women's sports will destroy women's sports.

"It will ruin the opportunity for girls to earn scholarships. It will put a glass ceiling back over women that hasn't been there in some time. I think it's bad for women and for women's sports."

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Tennessee isn't alone in their attempt to restrict the rights of trans people in school sports, with AP reporting nearly a dozen other states are trying to introduce something similar.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News

Stewart Perrie
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