Politics

Anti-trans sports ban passes Kentucky legislature & heads to governor’s desk

: A supporter holds a sign that says "Support Trans Youth"
: A supporter holds a sign that says "Support Trans Youth" in Washington Square Park on the 8th Annual Trans Day of Action on June 22, 2012 in New York City.Photo: Shutterstock

The Kentucky state legislature has passed an anti-trans sports bill that is now on its way to the desk of Gov. Andy Beshear (D).

S.B. 83 seeks to ban trans girls in 6th grade through college from competing in school sports on women’s teams. Instead, they would be required to participate based on their sex assigned at birth, as shown on their birth certificate.

Related: Arizona lawmakers passed two laws attacking trans youth as part of “discriminatory trifecta”

“The benefits of participation in school sports are wide-ranging, they build character and help kids remain active. Unfortunately, today Kentucky Legislators voted to deny trans kids who are simply trying to navigate their childhoods the opportunity and benefits that come from playing school sports,” said the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley in a statement. “While their lawmakers failed them today, we urge Governor Beshear to be the ally that their legislators were not.”

In a tweet, the ACLU of Kentucky said the bill is “rooted in hate, unconstitutional, and could jeopardize KY universities’ participation in NCAA.”

 

Chris Hartman, executive director for the Fairness Campaign, lamented that “the only transgender girl we know currently playing sports in Kentucky schools, a 12-year-old seventh-grader who started her middle school’s field hockey team will be denied the opportunity to play with her friends during her eighth-grade year.”

Hartman went on to call “on Kentucky’s most pro-equality Gov. Andy Beshear to protect the lives of transgender youth and let all Kentucky kids play by vetoing Senate Bill 83.”

The state of Kentucky also already has policies in place that make it difficult for trans high school and college athletes to participate in sports in accordance with their gender identity. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association reportedly requires gender confirmation surgery before participation, despite the fact that this surgery is almost never given to those under 18.

Arizona lawmakers passed two laws attacking trans youth as part of “discriminatory trifecta”

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