Gov. Bill Lee signs bill banning transgender athletes

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A major anti transgender bill has now been signed into law.

Governor Bill Lee tweeted Friday he signed the anti-trans athlete bill, saying the bill will “preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition.”

Student-athletes in middle and high school will now be required to prove their sex at birth in order to play school sports.

On Monday, the bill passed the Tennessee House on the third consideration with a 71-16 vote; five people did not vote. The bill had advanced in the Tennessee Senate earlier this month.

The ACLU issued the following statement on Governor Lee signing the bill:

“Governor Lee’s rush to discriminate against transgender children is appalling. Transgender people have the right to participate in sports consistent with who they are, just like everyone else. Denying this right is pure discrimination.

“When Lee has made every effort to deny women the ability to make decisions about their own bodies, his grandstanding about protecting women’s rights by discriminating against transgender children is disingenuous at best. The marginalization of trans student athletes is rooted in the same kind of gender discrimination and stereotyping that has held back cisgender women athletes.


“Should any student be excluded because of this shameful legislation, we will see him in court.”

The Tennessee Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus and the Tennessee Young Democrats LGBTQ Caucus are also condemning the decision:

“The Tennessee Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus and the Tennessee Young Democrats LGBTQ Caucus condemns Governor Bill Lee’s decision to sign SB228, known as the Anti-Transgender Student Athlete bill, into law earlier today. TNDP LGBTQ Caucus Chair Shayne Bilbrey commented on Lee’s signing and said, “Governor Bill Lee’s decision today to sign this bill into law will do more harm to our transgender youth, than good. Transgender kids are still kids, and they should have the same opportunities to compete in school athletics like their cis-gender peers and friends. We continue to stand with and fight for all Transgender Tennesseans, and we will work with our leaders in both chambers to stop the damage even further.”

The caucuses believe the Governor’s signing of this bill will also have a negative economic impact on the state’s economy, and it could also possibly risk Tennessee losing Federal education dollars as well. The Governor’s decision to sign this bill, will almost certainly lead to a lawsuit.

The caucuses want to thank our Democratic lawmakers in both the House and Senate that voted against this bill, and we will continue to work with leaders in both chambers on combating the rest of the Slate of Hate.”

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