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New Alabama Transgender Bill May Affect Zero Youth Athletes

A bill that was signed into action last month by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey which bars transgender public school athletes from competing on teams based on the gender they identify with may affect as little as zero youth athletes in the state.

That information comes from the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), the governing body of more than 700 high school’s and junior high school’s athletic programs in the state, as it told AL.com in a recent report the organization isn’t aware of any transgender athletes participating in public school reports — citing medical privacy laws.

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Photo: CNU Sports / Creative Commons

Yet, despite the lack of available data, Rep Scott Stadthagen, a sponsor of the bill, told AL.com the purpose is to protect the integrity of girls’ sports.

“It is unfair for biological males to compete against females in high school sports,” he said to AL.com.

Alabama is one of four states, including Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, to have a transgender athlete ban signed into law in the last year, according to AL.com. The report went on to add that, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), another 27 states have considered similar bills.

Opponents of the law say the legislation appears to be redundant, citing the AHSAA handbook which specifies that students can only participate in interscholastic sports “as the gender identified on [their] certified birth certificate.” According to AL.com, critics say the law is a form of discrimination and could create a negative economic ripple effect should organizations like the NCAA view the law as not conforming with its values.

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“By signing this legislation, Gov. Ivey is forcefully excluding transgender children. Let’s be clear here: transgender children are children. They deserve the same opportunity to learn valuable skills of teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy competition with their peers.” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David in a statement to AL.com. “Simply put, Alabamans deserve better than lawmakers who legislate against the health and safety of all kids for cheap political gain.”

To read the full article on Alabama’s new transgender athlete law, click here.