An investigation by USA Today found that lobbying groups and Republican leaders have grossly overstated the “problem” that transgender athletes supposedly pose in U.S. girls high-school sports. The newspaper surveyed high-school athletic associations and discovered that only around 30 transgender athletes even competed on sports teams this last year, and a whopping two complaints were made about the issue. “The lack of examples just goes to show that they’re grasping for straws here,” said Chris Mosier, a triathlete and trans advocate. “There is not a problem, and there is not a problem at the scale they’re trying to make it. There’s not a problem that would warrant any types of laws against these young people.”
The lobbying group Alliance Defending Freedom has played a prominent role in the effort to ban transgender girls from high-school sports, claiming their inclusion is unfair and violates Title IX. The Department of Education ruled this month that trans and gay students are protected under Title IX. Despite the fact that there are few examples of trans athletes in girls sports—and hardly any actual complaints about them—more than 70 bills have been drafted in at least 36 states about the issue, USA Today reports. “They’re not trying to regulate high-school sports because there is no problem,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said.