Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed a law banning transgender students from participating in K-12 sports, making Alabama the latest conservative state to ban transgender girls from playing on women’s sports teams.
Ivey’s office announced in an email that she had signed the bill which states that a K-12 public school “may never allow a biological male to be a part of ‘a female team “.
Asked if the governor had a comment on the decision, spokeswoman Gina Maiola said she could confirm the governor signed the bill, but did not elaborate.
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Supporters of the HB 391 bill claim transgender girls are born taller and faster and have an unfair advantage in the competition. Opponents argue that the bills are rooted in discrimination and fear and violate federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in education.
“HB 391 is nothing more than a politically motivated bill designed to discriminate against an already vulnerable population. By signing this law, the Ivey government is forcibly excluding transgender children. Let’s be clear here: transgender children are children. They deserve the same opportunity to learn valuable skills in teamwork, sportsmanship and healthy competition with their peers, ”Human Rights Campaign Chair Alphonso David said in a statement. communicated.
Alabama House voted 74-19 for the bill sponsored by Republican Scott Stadthagen of Hartselle. The Alabama Senate voted 25-5 for the legislation.
“I want to thank Governor Ivey for her leadership and for protecting the rights of Alabama’s female athletes. Standing up for what’s right isn’t always easy, but it’s always the right thing to do,” said Stadthagen said on Friday.
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During Senate debate on the bill last week, Republican Senator Garlan Gudger of Cullman said it was “unfair for biological men to compete and beat women in high school sports.” He said the bill was necessary to protect the integrity of women’s sports programs.
Across the country, Republican lawmakers have struggled to find actual cases where a transgender girl’s participation caused a problem on a girls’ sports team. The Associated Press recently reached out to two dozen state lawmakers who sponsor such measures across the country and the conservative groups that support them, and only a few times have found this to be a problem among the hundreds of thousands of people. American teens who play sports in high school.
Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill last month to ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s or women’s sports teams. Idaho last year became the first state to adopt such a ban, but it faces a legal challenge.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Democrat, on Thursday vetoed a bill prohibiting transgender students from participating in female and female school sports. She said the GOP-backed measure is a job killer that harms children.
Critics of the bills fear the measures will cost states the organization of sporting events. Alabama Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton said last week the bill would give the state a ‘black eye’ as it tries to recruit industries and sporting events . “We spend too much time on follies like this,” Singleton said.
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As similar bills crop up across the county, the NCAA, which regulates varsity athletics in the United States, has expressed support for trans athletes and warned that the championships will only be held in places “without discrimination”.
“We will continue to monitor these situations closely to determine whether the NCAA Championships can be held in a manner that is welcoming and respectful of all participants,” the NCAA statement read.
The NCAA currently requires transgender women to undergo drug therapy to lower their testosterone levels before they can compete in women’s sports.
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