REUTERS/Issei Kato

Civil rights groups sue Tennessee for banning transgender athletes in school sports

Nov 4 (Reuters) – Civil rights groups sued on Thursday to problem a legislation in Tennessee that restricts transgender college students’ participation in school sports, arguing that it’s unconstitutional and discriminatory.

“Today, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Tennessee filed a lawsuit challenging a Tennessee law excluding transgender youth from participating in school sports,” the American Civil Liberties Union stated in a press release.

Earlier this 12 months, Tennessee Governor Invoice Lee signed into legislation SB 228, which requires public center and excessive school college students to play sports primarily based on the intercourse listed on their authentic start certificates. Lee’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the lawsuit.

Supporters of such laws say it’s aimed toward defending equity in school sports by eliminating what they see as an inherent bodily aggressive benefit of transgender athletes enjoying on feminine groups.

The lawsuit is on behalf of a scholar in the state who says the legislation prevents him from making an attempt out for the boys’ golf staff at his school.

“SB 228 was passed not to protect female athletes but to marginalize transgender people. The law amounts to a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group, which is an impermissible government purpose and fails any level of equal protection scrutiny,” stated the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court docket for the Center District of Tennessee.

A minimum of 35 payments to exclude transgender youth from athletics have been launched in 31 states this 12 months, up from 29 in 2020 and two in 2019, in line with a tally earlier this 12 months by the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures.

Equal rights advocates decry such restrictions as discriminatory and whose actual function is to energise social conservatives. learn extra

“The emotional cost of this law to transgender student athletes is tremendous,” stated Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee govt director.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; enhancing by Grant McCool

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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