A Tennessee Republican introduced legislation was revealed on Monday with the intention to segregate student athletes by biological sex when competing against other athletes.
The HB 1572 bill states that all public elementary and secondary schools in the state:
“shall require, for an official or unofficial school-sanctioned athletic or sporting event, that each athlete participating in the athletic or sporting event participates with and competes against other athletes based on the athlete’s biological sex as indicated on the athlete’s original birth certificate issued at the time of birth.”
Any school that fails to oblige would be “immediately ineligible to continue to receive public funds of any type from this state or a local government.”
State officials who deliberately violate the proposed legislation could face a civil penalty of a fine up to $10,000 as it states: “The civil penalty for a violation of this section is not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).”
The bill goes onto say:
Upon a finding that a state or local official has willfully and intentionally committed an act that violates, or that is designed or intended to violate or frustrate, this section, the office of the official is immediately vacated, and the former official is not eligible to hold public office or a position as a school administrator or principal for a period of five (5) years.
Republican state Rep. Bruce Griffey, the bill’s lead sponsor said, in an email statement to the Tennessee Star:
“We are seeing more and more transgender athletes competing and posting victories in traditionally gendered sports competitions, and doing so to the detriment of girls and women biologically born female. Boys and men, due to testosterone levels, bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size, have physical advantages in sports relative to girls and women.”
Griffey added that it was “fundamentally unfair” for biological girls to compete for athletic scholarships against biological males.
The bill came as a response to “Equality Act” the House of Representatives passed in May, The Tennessee Star reports.
If the bill were to pass, the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add gender identity and sexual orientation as protected statuses would have to be amended.
“With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushing through passage in the U.S. House of Representative HR 5 – the Equality Act – that, among other things, creates a civil right for male athletes to self-identify as females in sports competitions, I believe it is important for states to take a stand. This is what I seek to do through the filing of House Bill 1572,” Griffey said.