A new Tennessee bill would require that students playing sports would have to play with the team that matches the gender identification that they were assigned at birth. Of course the bill is being called "demeaning" by activists.
I think it's only fair that athletes compete against other athletes of the same biological sex! Males play males and females play females.
Males are biologically bigger and stronger than females. Therefore, how would a man pretending to be a woman be a fair match for an actual woman?
The bill would affect transgender athletes, who may be a gender different than the one assigned at birth. For example, a student's birth certificate could list the student as female, but the student identifies as male and present as so or vice versa.
The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Bruce Griffey, called it a "proactive measure," meant to "maintain fairness" specifically for female athletes, he told CNN. Griffey said genetic males have "larger hearts" and more upper body strength that gives them an advantage in sports.
"It's not intended to demean, degrade, or diminish anyone," Griffey said. "It's just trying to maintain fairness."
He added that "males have a genetic advantage" and that it isn't "fair to put the burden on the girls."
I couldn't agree more!
Schools that do not follow the new law will be cut off from public funding, according to the bill. They could also face a civil lawsuit and a $10,000 fine.
By preventing students from participating in sports that align with their gender identity, the bill forces students to be something they aren't and portray a gender identity that isn't who they are, Sanders said.
"That is demeaning," he said.
Sanders said the proposed penalties in the bill are "draconian."
"That shows there's something more at work here than your run-of-the-mill, 'We want fair competition,'" Sanders added. "This is a level of animus at transgender students that is unprecedented."
A law like the one proposed in Tennessee has been enacted in Texas and has already been tested.
In 2017, Mack Beggs, then a high school wrestler, competed in girls high school wrestling, despite being in the process of transitioning to male at the time.
When he won the girls' wrestling state championship, people said he should be competing against boys, which is what Beggs wanted. But due to the Texas law, he had to play on the girls' team.
Just a few months after Beggs won, a Texas lawmaker proposed a bill prohibiting steroid use, a move that some lawmakers argued was to keep transgender athletes from participating in sports altogether.
Beggs now wrestles on the men's team at Life University in Georgia. At the time of his win in 2017, he said he didn't challenge the rules because he didn't want to risk losing his ability to participate.
"I would rather have a chance to compete than not compete at all," Beggs said.
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