Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill into law Friday requiring that transgender athletes only compete in school sports competitions that align with their biological sex.
Tennessee joins Mississippi and Arkansas as the third state in the nation to implement such a law, the Tennessean reported.
“I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition,” Lee said on Twitter after the legislation’s signing. “This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX.” (RELATED: 14 States Considering Transgender Athlete Bills)
I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition. 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.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) March 26, 2021
The bill was passed on Mar 1. 2021 by Tennessee’s state Senate.
The law, not applicable to children in kindergarten through fourth grade, charges the Tennessee State Board of Education and local education boards with enforcing “polices to ensure compliance with this bill.”
According to the law, students competing in athletic competitions in Tennessee should provide proof of their sex at birth if not indicated on their birth certificate.
BREAKING: Tennessee Governor Lee just signed a bill banning trans kids from playing sports.
We’ll see them in court.
— ACLU (@ACLU) March 26, 2021
“Governor Lee’s rush to discriminate against transgender children is appalling. Transgender people have the right to participate in sports consistent with who they are, just like everyone else. Denying this right is pure discrimination,” the ACLU stated. “Should any student be excluded because of this shameful legislation, we will see him in court.”