Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an anti-transgender sports bill into law Friday, banning transgender women and girls in Tennessee from playing on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.
The bill, HB 3/SB 228, states that “a student’s gender for purposes of participation in a public middle school or high school interscholastic athletic activity or event be determined by the student’s sex at the time of the student's birth, as indicated on the student’s original birth certificate.” Lee said he had signed the bill “to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition.”
The Tennessee bill’s passing follows similar laws being enacted in Mississippi and Arkansas. There are presently over 170 anti-LGBTQ bills working their way through state legislatures, many focused on restricting trans teens’ access to sports and healthcare.
“It is hard to keep up with the avalanche of anti-transgender bills, but please know that we will never give up fighting to protect transgender and nonbinary young people. They deserve access to the same opportunities as their peers. This discriminatory policy is illegal,” Sam Brinton, VP of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project, said in a statement. “The Trevor Project is here 24/7 to support trans youth in Tennessee and across the country who feel hurt and invalidated by these purely political attacks.”
“There is no evidence of transgender student athlete participation in Tennessee,” the Tennessean reported.