Transgender students in Tennessee will be required to compete in school sports according to their sex at birth after Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a controversial bill into law March 26, according to The Tennessean.
Tennessee is the third to enact such legislation into law this year, following Mississippi and Arkansas.
Medical experts, LGBTQ advocates and transgender Tennesseans deem the legislation discriminatory against a small population in the state. There is no evidence of transgender student athlete participation in Tennessee.
"I signed the bill to preserve women's athletics and ensure fair competition," Lee posted on Twitter. "This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and I commend members of the General Assembly for their bipartisan work."
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a press release to Windy City Times. HRC President Alphonso David said, in part, "Governor Lee's rush to sign this discriminatory anti-transgender bill is unfortunately no surprise given how Tennessee's elected leaders have aggressively pushed a 'Slate of Hate' against LGBTQ people for the last several years. … This bill legislates against a problem that simply doesn't exist and targets transgender kids who are trying to navigate their adolescence. Transgender kids are kids."
HRC noted that "there are so far 174 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 95 directly target transgender people and about half of those would, like HB3/SB 228, ban transgender girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity."