Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed and passed legislation requiring transgender athletes in public schools to compete on teams according to the gender they were “assigned” at birth, making Alabama the latest in a string of red states to pass similar legislation.
House Bill 391, signed by the Republican governor late last week, will prevent public K-12 schools from allowing biological males from participating on a female team if the school has a team matching their biological sex, and vice versa for biological females wishing to participate on male teams. The bill passed in the state legislature earlier this month.
According to Newsweek, the bill allows trans students to play on co-ed teams, but it does not specify where transgender students may compete if their school does not have a team for their sport for their biological gender.
As we have been reporting since the wave of legislation protecting women’s and girls’ sports began, some 31 states have introduced bills banning transgender athletes from competing according to their “gender identities.” Mississippi became the first state to pass such legislation back in March.
Other states, however, have vowed not to pass legislation protecting women’s and girls’ sports in favor of accommodating transgender athletes.
Last week, Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards swore to veto any similar legislation that made its way to his desk, calling such bills “unnecessary and discriminatory.”
The line in the sand being drawn in these states is already causing a stir in the sports world. Earlier this month, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that it will not hold any events in states that aren’t “safe, healthy and free of discrimination.” In other words, states that pass legislation to protect girls and women from competing against biological males.
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