One would think that in the same week the county that houses Chattanooga, Tennessee was named as one of the five-fastest-growing hot spots for coronavirus in the nation, Tennessee’s state Legislature might have more important things to do than weigh transphobic legislation.
Well, Fucko, have I got news for you.
A Tennessee House subcommittee on Tuesday advanced a bill that would restrict athletes to competing on teams and in sports that match the gender listed on their birth certificates, as opposed to how they identify themselves. You might think this is abhorrent enough, given the subject matter, the times we live in, and quite simply that there must be more pressing issues, but Tennessee ain’t about half-assing anything. No sir, this is actually the second bill with these aims in the state legislature. The first one already passed through the subcommittee and is headed for consideration in front of the education committee in the state today.
While the issue of transgender athletes is a complicated one an all sides, the author of this second bill, state Rep. Bruce Griffey, gave away his game when asked by a democratic counterpart if there had been any incidents of this nature in Tennessee.
Griffey replied he was “not aware” of “specific instances” in Tennessee.
“This is a prospective bill, so that we don’t run into this problem in the future,” he said.
Familiar refrain from Republicans, wouldn’t you say?
There have been few cases of transgender athletes “dominating” girls sports nationwide, and just as in Tennessee, when Washington state had a similar bill up for consideration, its author could not point to one specific example in his state.
This bill follows Idaho’s passage of Fairness In Women’s Sports Act, which bans transgender athletes from competing in sports and on teams that are consistent with their gender identity all the way through college. Again, there was no record of any trans athletes dominating or even having notable success in Idaho. The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit against Idaho’s law in federal court, claiming it violates Title IX.
But the ACLU’s quest is going to be even trickier now, considering what the fucksticks at the national level did today. In Connecticut, three cisgender female athletes sued a state athletic conference an several school boards concerning two transgender girls who had won 15 championships combined over a three-year span. Of course, the three girls filing that lawsuit were backed and represented by the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom, which has been called a straight up hate-group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Today, the U.S. Department Of Education, led by Queen Karen Betsy DeVos, penned a fiery letter of complaint to the state of Connecticut.
DeVos accused Connecticut of violating cisgender female athletes’ civil rights through its policy of allowing transgender athletes to compete on teams that align with their gender identity. DeVos’s ire could cost the state federal funding — never let it be said America can’t find a way to be hateful, petty, and archaic, even during the most desperate of times.
DeVos’ letter is just a continuation of the Trump Administration’s ongoing campaign against trans people, as the Connecticut policy in fact aligned with not discriminating against trans people in the first place. As this article from OutSports highlights, the lawsuit in itself is rife with inaccuracies, such as failing to point out the two sprinters at the center of suit didn’t win every race, and one of the plaintiffs beat them both in indoor races last year.And it failed to note that both sprinters went through hormone treatments that to lower their testosterone. But facts aren’t going to get in the way of DeVos’and her boss’ march toward hate and ignorance.
Tennessee isn’t alone. More than a dozen states are in various stages of debate over who can and can’t compete in various sports. The Department Of Education’s moves today will only encourage these states and others.
It’s important to reiterate that there is very little record of transgender athletes exhibiting an extreme advantage at the high school level. Even the two sprinters in Connecticut were more just highly successful than simply unstoppable. That’s about as far as anyone has gotten. What’s going on in these various states and at the DOE is a solution in search of a problem.
Gender is far from a binary equation, as is the complexity of the human body in any form. But acknowledging that would involve any of these state reps or the leaders of the DOE and country to actually read and do some research.