Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law that bans transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports, making them the third state this year to pass a similar measure.
Lee said he signed the bill to “preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition.”
Mississippi and Arkansas have signed similar bills into law, and Republicans in at least 20 states are planning on introducing similar legislation.
Student athletes would be required to prove that their sex matches that listed on the student’s “original” birth certificate in order to participate in public school sports. If students cannot provide a birth certificate, then their parents must provide another form of evidence that indicates the “student’s sex at the time of birth.”
Lee says that transgender athletes would “destroy women’s sports” and that transgender athletes would create “a glass ceiling back over women that hasn’t been there in some time.”
According to The Associated Press, none of the supporters of the Tennessee bill could provide an instance of transgender athletes causing problems. The Associated Press reports that only a few cases have caused problems.
Opponents say that the bill violates Title IX of the federal education law, which prohibits sex discrimination, as well as rulings by the Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. President Joe Biden also signed an executive order that prohibited discrimination based on “gender identity” in public schools, which also applies to school sports.