Georgia Senate Passes Transgender Youth Sports Ban

Georgia Senate Passes Transgender Youth Sports Ban

“SB 435 irrationally and unlawfully targets some of Georgia’s most vulnerable young people—transgender students.”

(Atlanta, GA, February 24, 2022) – Today, the Georgia Senate passed Senate Bill 435, the anti-trans youth bill that bans transgender female student athletes at public or private schools from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

“Excluding transgender students from athletics is not only harmful to those students, doing so also violates federal law and places schools at great risk of liability. For example, SB 435 would effectively bar transgender students from participating in athletics, violating Title IX, the federal law banning sex discrimination in education,” said Lambda Legal Southern Regional Director Michael Shutt.

“School athletics provide students uniquely valuable opportunities to develop self-confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership skills, as well as a personal work ethic, discipline, responsibility, and good habits of exercise and attention to physical health. Denying transgender students these opportunities would be irreparably harmful,” said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Carl Charles. “SB 435 irrationally and unlawfully targets some of Georgia’s most vulnerable young people—transgender students. If this bill is enacted, it would stigmatize and discriminate against transgender students while burdening school districts already struggling to teach and care for the students of Georgia.”

According to a 2021 poll conducted by The Trevor Project and Morning Consult, 85% of trans and nonbinary youth said recent debates about laws restricting trans rights have impacted their mental health negatively. When asked about anti-trans sports policies, 74% of trans and nonbinary youth said it made them feel angry, 57% felt sad, 43% felt stressed, and 28% felt hopeless.

SB 435 now moves to the House for further debate. Similar bills have passed legislatures in Texas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Idaho and South Dakota. 

Students who feel they have been targeted for discrimination are encouraged to contact the Lambda Legal Help Desk.

 

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