Tennessee Transgender Sports Bill Advances to The House

6 years ago the GOP began pushing bills like HB2 attacking trans people's rights in the public spaces. Failing that, they began targeting the most vulnerable of our community, transgender children with sports bills. These attacks are nothing new. But what they are is wholly unwarranted, vile, and dispicable.

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The Tennessee Senate passed a bill last night which would force transgender students to play on the team according to the sex of their original birth certificate. On Monday evening, Senators voted 27-6 to pass SB 228. The Bill now goes to the House for a vote.

CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Joe Woolley said while this bill is directed at student-athletes, he feels a bill like this passing could mean drastic hits to our tourism and businesses wanting to do work in Tennessee.

“We’re looking at events like the Super Bowl, we’re looking at the World Cup in 2026, we all love our NCAA basketball tournaments, all three of those organizations that run those events have said they will seriously consider not bringing their events to locations that have discriminatory laws on the books,” Wooley said.

The Tennessee Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus, Tennessee Young Democrats LGBTQ Caucus, Tennessee College Democrats, and Tennessee High School Democrats issued a joint statement Wednesday.

They say the bill discriminates against transgender students and is part of “a nationally-coordinated attack on our youth and only serves to add to the culture wars and division politics…”

Read the full statement below via News channel 5.

“Today, the Tennessee Legislature’s education committees sent a bill to the floor that would discriminate against Tennessee transgender students wishing to participate in school sports. While the TSSAA stated that no transgender students in the state of Tennessee have ever attempted to compete in a high school sport, the state of Tennessee is breaking federal Title Nine laws that already allow transgender students to play sports – putting billions in education funding at risk.

This bill is a nationally coordinated attack on our youth and only serves to add to the culture wars and division politics that don’t serve Tennesseans. The extremist right-wing politicians backing this bill want to waste taxpayer money that could be going to support teachers and schools to rather litigate an issue that does not exist. The real detriment of this legislation is the damage it will do to the population who are being attacked by it. The transgender community in Tennessee deserves better from the Legislature that is tasked to serve them.

It is also worth noting that this will have unintended consequences. A rule in Texas only allowing transgender students to compete in the league for their assigned sex led to a young trans man being forced to compete in wrestling competitions against females.

Mack Beggs won the state title twice and a scholarship. Also, a young woman in Connecticut who filed a lawsuit to ban two trans athletes from girls’ track and field lost her case, but beat the transgender athletes she was competing against.

State Government has other pressing matters to focus on. Covid relief and getting students safely back to school should be the top priority right now, not issues they conjure up to distract from their failures to lead during a crisis. We stand with the Tennesee Equality Project and demand these politicians stop their #SlateOfHate. For more information on how to take action this week, follow @tnhsdems on Instagram and watch our social media for direct action.”

One Highschool Offensive Guard is now Playing Defense against South Dakota Legislators.

Chris Wilka, a transgender high school student started at quarterback but has since moved to offensive guard. But now he’s on the defense asking South Dakota legislators to just let him play football.

Wilka is a competitor the same as Mack Beggs. Could you imagine the reaction of Tennesse parents should this hulking young man play against their girls as Mack Beggs was forced to do?

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender