Yet another US state passes cruel, harmful ban on trans girls playing sports

Georgia govenor Brian Kemp wears a pinkish red patterned shirt which has tags reading 'Kemp govenor'

Governor Brian Kemp signed into law a measure that would give an oversight committee the authority to ban trans youth from playing high school athletics. 

The Republican governor signed House Bill 1084 (HB 1084) into law on Thursday (28 April). The bill, which also bans the teaching of “divisive concepts” in the state, was amended at the last minute as it passed through the state legislature to include restrictions on how trans athletes can participate in school sports. 

The legislation formed a new athletic oversight committee for the Georgia High School Association. This committee will be tasked with determining if trans youth can participate in high school athletics, NBC News reported. 

Kemp said the legislation will “put students and parents first” by “keeping woke politics out of the classroom and off the ballfields”, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

Dewayne Johnson, Georgia state director at the Human Rights Campaign, slammed the legislation for ‘singling out’ trans youth in the state. He said Kemp and other state lawmakers are “creating these false dilemmas” that are disconnected from the “real issues faced by everyday Georgians”. 

“Transgender kids are not creating problems by participating in school sports,” Johnson said. “Singling them out for discriminatory treatment – preventing them from playing with their friends and enjoying the benefits of athletic activity – serves no one except those who want to fearmonger and further divide Georgians.”

Johnson added that the bill will make it “much harder” to be a “transgender young person in Georgia” and declared that Kemp “should be ashamed” for signing it into law. 

Georgia is the latest state to pass legislation restricting how trans athletes can participate in sports. In 2022 alone, conservative lawmakers in Republicans in IowaSouth DakotaOklahoma, Arizona, Utah and Kentucky have enacted trans sports bans.

Last year, LGBT+ rights advocates witnessed similar legislation being passed into law in ArkansasAlabamaFloridaMississippiMontanaTennesseeTexas and West Virginia.

Earlier this year, Republican governor Eric Holcomb vetoed an anti-trans sports ban that landed on his desk. Conservative lawmakers could still overturn his veto when the state legislature meets in May. 

Legislation banning trans athletes from participating in girls’ sports in Kansas was blocked after state legislators couldn’t get enough votes to overturn governor Laura Kelly’s veto

Kelly struck down the legislation earlier this month, saying it was “harmful to students and their families”. She also said the trans sports ban bill was motivated by “politicians trying to score political points”. 

The state Senate overrode the veto with a 28-10 vote on Tuesday (26 April), but lawmakers failed to do the same in the House.

The Kansas House voted 81-41 on Thursday (28 April) and fell just shy of the 84 votes needed to meet the two-thirds threshold to override the veto. 

Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, condemned conservative lawmakers who tried to “use children” as “political punching bags” to push the anti-trans bill up to the last minute, the Kansas City Star reported. 

“I don’t give a good damn about their politics and election issues,” Witt said. “What I see is a bunch of adults, grownups, who should damn well know better continuing to use children, little kids, as political punching bags to satisfy their own need and lust for power and control.”