Tennessee governor signs transgender sports law requiring students to prove gender at birth

The bill states that “the sex of a student to participate in a public high school or high school interscholastic athletic activity or event is determined by the sex of the student at the time of the student’s birth, as indicated on the original birth certificate of the student. the student.”

Students must be able to provide proof of their gender at birth if their birth certificate does not appear to be the original or does not indicate the student’s gender at the time of birth. This does not apply to kindergarten through 4th grade students, according to Tennessee law.

“I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition,” Lee tweeted upon signing the bill. “This legislation responds to harmful federal policies that run counter to the years of progress made under Title IX and I commend the members of the General Assembly for their dual work.”
On Thursday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a similar bill – the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act – in his state. And earlier this month, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also signed a similar bill.

The Tennessee bill, which opponents have called “discriminatory,” requires students to exercise based on their birth certificate’s gender identification and compete only against other athletes of the same biological sex.

“Governor Lee’s rush to sign this discriminatory anti-transgender law is no surprise, unfortunately, as Tennessee’s elected leaders have aggressively pushed a ‘Slate of Hate’ against LGBTQ people in recent years,” said Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign. . in a statement.

“This bill makes legislation against a problem that simply doesn’t exist and targets transgender children trying to control their puberty,” said David. “Transgender children are children. Excluding and discriminating against them causes them great harm and weakens the communities in which these children feel excluded and marginalized.”