Georgia Working to Require Transgender Student Athletes to Compete Only as Birth Gender

The Georgia legislature is set to debate a bill that would require students to compete in school sports only in the category of their birth gender.

The bill was filed by Philip Singleton, a recently elected Republican State Representative from Sharpsburg, Georgia. Singleton said that his bill aimed to eliminate the “unfair advantage” transgender athletes might have, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The Student-Athlete Protection Act is designed to ensure that biological boys will only compete in sports against other biological boys and vice-versa for girls,” Singleton said. “The intent of my bill is to make sure every student has the opportunity to compete fairly.”

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The bill (House Bill 747) would bar transgender youth from competing under their assumed gender at any publicly supported sports facility.

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However, the bill only concerns individual sports such as track, and would not affect team sports such as football or baseball.

Singleton also insisted that the bill is not in response to any particular student and that he is not aware of any current conflicts in the state’s school systems. Still, he wants to head off any problems before they arise.

“We’re seeing a lot of things happening in states across the country, and a big part of my campaign promise was to preserve the character of my community,” Singleton said.

The Georgia High School Association already bans transgender athletes from competing as any gender other than their birth gender. Singleton’s bill would codify that state-wide.

Georgia joins a list of states moving to ban transgender students from competing in categories outside their birth gender.

A Tennessee lawmaker recently filed a similar bill, as did a Republican lawmaker in Washington State.

Other bills restricting transgender activities are also finding a voice in state legislatures. A bill was introduced in Massachusetts, for instance, that would bar mental health counselors from aiding kids to become transgender.

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