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Trans Rights are Under Attack in Georgia - Proposed Georgia Law Targets Trans Athletes

Georgia Congress to Vote on Anti-Trans Legislation

On Tuesday, March 19th, the Georgia Senate Education and Youth Committee voted to amend HB 1104 which, previously, was a safe bill for student athletes.

The new amendment, however, includes language that if passed, would ban transgender youth from participating in sports, and from using the correct restrooms and changing areas. 

 "Excluding trans women hurts all women"

Specifically, HB 1104 prohibits any participating school in the state of Georgia from operating sports that allow a person whose sex is male but whose gender identity is female, to participate in a female designated sport.

Bans on transgender youth participation in sports have been passed in over 26 states across the country, and attempts have been made in many more. Supporters of these bans claim that allowing trans athletes to compete in female designated sports would harm cisgender women.

However, excluding trans women hurts all women who should be allowed to benefit from athletic sports and competition. 

Mandating transgender youth to compete on teams based on their sex assigned at birth, is the same as banning them from athletic competition entirely.

Legislation that restricts athletic participation reinforces stereotypes that are harmful to the promotion of inclusion and non-discrimination. Supporters of these policies erroneously claim that transgender women have an unfair advantage over cisgender women. However, this claim is unsound and lacks an evidentiary basis.

In fact, trans athletes vary in athletic ability just like cisgender athletes.

As supported by countless research, a person’s genetic make-up and reproductive autonomy are not useful indicators of athletic performance. Further, evidence suggests that cisgender student athletes are comfortable playing alongside transgender athletes, and approve inclusive athletic policies for transgender youth.

Mandating transgender youth to athletically compete on teams based on their sex assigned at birth, is the same as banning them from athletic competition entirely. 

HB 1104 is a harmful policy that not only prevents trangender youth from participating in sports, but it goes further to force transgender students into restrooms, changing areas, and locker rooms that do not align with their gender. “Bathroom bills” such as HB 1104, are proposed laws that deny people access to public bathrooms based on their gender identity or gender expression. 

Restricting bathroom access poses both health and safety risks for people who are transgender.

Transgender youth are vulnerable to harassment, assault, discrimination, and physical harm in schools. In fact, according to a report issued by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 77% of K-12 transgender students reported being mistreated in schools in the form of either verbal harassment, physical abuse, or sexual assault.

Further because of the fear of being victimized, transgender youth may be inclined to avoid using public bathrooms altogether. This can result in serious adverse medical effects, such as urinary tract infections, and bowel and bladder issues. Additionally, bathroom bills violate privacy for transgender students who may not want to disclose to others that they are transgender, and poses a physical safety risk. 

HB 1104 is a devious attempt to drive an anti-trans agenda at the expense of trans youth in Georgia.

Unfortunately, the committee voted to approve the amendment and now HB 1104 will go to the full Senate for a vote tomorrow March 26, 2024. If passed, HB 1104 would be sent to the Georgia House chamber once more, to approve or vote against the new amendments made. 

We believe that sports teach invaluable, lifelong lessons about teamwork, discipline, and hardwork. We believe that every young person deserves equal access and opportunity to participate in all sports. We believe that policies that restrict bathroom access violate privacy, and pose physical safety and health risks for transgender youth. 

We are asking you that you make your voice heard! Contact your Georgia senator and representative and urge them to VOTE NO in opposition to HB 1104. To find your senator and representative, please go to My Voter Page. 

Please join us in the fight for our rights and lives, sign up to be a SisterLove E-advocate today. 


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