Tennessee Bill Would Require Student Athletes to Compete Based on Assigned Birth Gender

AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb

A newly introduced bill in the Tennessee legislature would restrict school sports athletes to participating only in the gender category of their birth.

Republican state Rep. Bruce Griffey introduced HB 1572 that would put an end to transgender athletes participating in any school sport except for those that correspond to their birth gender.

The bill also contains a cancellation of funds to any school that ignores the rule and states that schools would be “immediately ineligible to continue to receive public funds of any type from this state or a local government.”

“We are seeing more and more transgender athletes competing and posting victories in traditionally gendered sports competitions and doing so to the detriment of girls and women biologically born female. Boys and men, due to testosterone levels, bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size, have physical advantages in sports relative to girls and women,” Griffey told the Tennessee Star.

Not only that, bit the law would levy a fine of up to $10,000 on any school or state official who knowingly violates the ban and allows a transgender to play against a natural-born athlete.

Griffey said it was “fundamentally unfair” to biological girls to allow men claiming to be women to compete against them, especially for those seeking scholarships in sports.

Griffey also noted that his bill is an answer to federal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to alter the 1964 Civil Rights Act to give rights to transgenders.

“With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushing through passage in the U.S. House of Representative HR 5 – the Equality Act – that, among other things, creates a civil right for male athletes to self-identify as females in sports competitions, I believe it is important for states to take a stand. This is what I seek to do through the filing of House Bill 1572,” Griffey told the paper.

Rep. Griffey’s bill comes only a week after a Republican in Washington State announced that he was introducing a bill that would also prevent transgender student-athletes from participating in the sports gender category that they have assumed as a transgender person.

Washington State Republican Bill Klippert announced that he is soon to introduce House Bill 2201, a bill he says is meant to ensure women’s rights and maintain fundamental fairness for girls in school sports.

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