The law Gov. Kay Ivey signed late last month prohibiting trans athletes in public schools from competing on teams of the gender they identify with can affect as little as zero Alabama youth.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association, the governing body for more than 700 high school and high school athletic programs in the state, said it was not aware of any trans athletes participating in school sports. public, citing medical confidentiality laws.
The legislation also appears redundant, as the AHSAA manual specifies that students may only participate in interschool sports “such as the gender identified on [their] certified birth certificate. “
Critics of the law say it is a form of discrimination and can hurt Alabama economically if organizations like the NCAA or businesses believe the new law is not in line with their values .
The Human Rights Campaign, which defends LGBTQ rights, said the law is “designed to discriminate against an already vulnerable population.
“By signing this legislation, Governor Ivey is forcibly excluding transgender children. Let’s be clear here: transgender children are children. They deserve the same opportunity to learn valuable teamwork, sportsmanship and healthy competition skills with their peers. Human rights campaign chairman Alphonso David said in a statement. “Put simply, the Alabamans deserve better than the lawmakers who legislate against the health and safety of all children for cheap political gain.”
Rep. Scott Stadthagen, a Republican from Hartselle, sponsored the bill in the House. Stadthagen said the aim was to protect the integrity of women’s sports.
“It is unfair for biological men to compete with women in high school sports,” he said.
Alabama is one of four states – Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas – in which a ban on trans athletes from public schools was enacted in 2021.
At least 27 other states have considered similar bills, according to the ACLU.
The wave of bills was modeled on a bill that was passed by the Idaho Legislature in 2020 – a law that is being challenged in federal court by the ACLU.
“So many of these states have in fact used the wording of my bill. It’s gratifying to know that we’ve really led the way, ”said Idaho State Representative Barbara Ehardt, a Republican who sponsored the Idaho bill. Idaho State Journal at the end of last month.