Republican representative Bruce Griffey of Tennessee has introduced a bill which would prevent trans athletes from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity.
If passed, the bill will force trans students to play on sports teams that match their assigned gender at birth rather than their actual gender. He has insisted that there is “no ill will” intended by House Bill 1572, and that he only wants to ensure fairness, Nashville Channel 5 reports.
“What it’s simply trying to do is – I think science and experience and just society,” said Griffey. “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.”
Under the law, schools could be fined $10,000 if they were to allow trans students to play sports on a team which is in line with their gender identity, and any state official who knowingly violates the ban would be forced to give up their position making them ineligible to hold any public office for a five year period.
LGBTQ+ activists in Tennessee have slammed the new bill. “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,” said Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project. He also claims that the bill is part of the “2020 slate of hate bills” – a series of upcoming bills designed to attack members of Tennessee’s LGBTQ+ communities – and went on to call the new bill “insulting to trans youth.”
The widespread belief that trans women have a physical advantage over cis women in sports is still highly supported, despite the fact that numerous LGBT+ sporting organizations have repeatedly negated such claims.