Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Signs Unnecessary and Harmful Legislation Allowing Discrimination Against Transgender Children Playing School Sports

ATLANTIS — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp today signed into law Georgia House Bill 1084, a law that creates an athletics committee with the power to ban transgender youth from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. In response, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization – denounced the decision as a crude political maneuver at the expense of transgender students. of State.

“Brian Kemp had the opportunity to emulate his fellow Republican governors of Utah and Indiana, who saw through their states’ efforts to limit transgender youth’s access to sports and opposed their veto similar discriminatory bills”, said Dewayne Johnson, Georgia State Director of HRC. “They knew, as Governor Kemp surely knows, that there is no basis for this legislation. The bill’s attacks on gender and race are inherently arbitrary and do not constitute a legitimate legal basis for discrimination. The governor and legislative leaders continually create these false dilemmas that fail to connect with the real issues facing ordinary Georgians. Transgender children do not create problems by participating in school sports. Singling them out for discriminatory treatment – preventing them from playing with their friends and enjoying the benefits of sporting activity – serves no one except those who want to sow fear and further divide Georgians. This law will make it much harder to be a transgender youth in Georgia, and Governor Kemp is directly responsible for that. He should be ashamed.

During the signing of the bill today, Governor Kemp said, “We are putting students and parents first by bringing woke politics out of the classroom and the ball diamond. Among other provisions, HB1084 also prohibits the teaching of “dividing concepts” about race in public schools. This runs counter to recent polls that show strong opposition to education censorship. According to the newsthe “divisive concepts” aspect of the legislation dates back to the Center for Renewing America, a group led by former Trump administration officials who has sued similar bills in other states.

A recent study showed that 65.1% of LGBTQ+ people in Georgia said they had suffered from depression in the previous two weeks – more than three times the number of non-LGBTQ+ Georgians saying the same. Politicians are guilty of the harm they cause by subjecting vulnerable young people to continued legislative attacks.

The Georgia bill’s enactment comes after a Utah bill was vetoed by Republican Governor Spencer Cox. In his veto statement, Cox wrote: “Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so little. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live.

Another Republican Governor Eric Holcomb of Indiana also vetoed a bill discrimination against transgender children playing sports last month, citing a lack of evidence to justify the bill.

House Bill 1084 is the second attempt this year by Georgia lawmakers to discriminate against transgender youth. In February, the Senate passed SB 435, which provided an outright ban on transgender students from playing on sports teams in accordance with their gender identity. This bill was never considered by the Georgia House of Representatives and became obsolete at the end of the state’s annual legislative session.

Strong opposition to discriminatory attacks against the LGBTQ+ population

The last PRRI data AC watch support for LGBTQ+ rights is on the rise in Georgia and nationally: 76% of Georgians support protections against discrimination and 59% of Georgians oppose denial of service on religious grounds. About eight in ten Americans (79%) support laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing. This reflects an 11% increase in the proportion of Americans who support anti-discrimination protections since 2015 (71%).

Anti-transgender discrimination in sport is being challenged by prominent advocates for women and girls in sport – such as National Center for Women’s Rightsthe Women’s Sports Foundation, Women Leaders in College Sport, and others – who support trans inclusion policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students from sports participation. The same goes for top female athletes, including Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoeand Cheryl Reeve.

LGBTQ+ children have real threats and obstacles to overcome. 86% of LGBTQ+ youth say they have been bullied, harassed or assaulted at school. Studies have shown that bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ youth contributes to high rates of absenteeism, school dropout, adverse health consequences and school failure. Children want to play sports for the same reasons: being part of a team, learning discipline, and above all, having fun with your friends. Kids shouldn’t be banned from sports because of who they are.

A cascading hate campaign across the country

This year, officials across the state Texas have attempted to criminalize transitional care for minors, and lawmakers from Alabama are about to pass legislation to do so as well. In Floridathe ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill aims to prevent teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people and isolating LGBTQ+ children if it becomes law. Iowa recently became the first state in the nation to enact statewide anti-discrimination protections that include LGBTQ+ people to reverse the trend by prohibiting transgender women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. And in South DakotaGovernor Noem proclaimed that he “makes me sadto hear about the high rates of depression among LGBTQ+ people in his state — just days after signing the first anti-trans bill of 2022 into law.

While the sponsors of these bills make misleading claims about what their bills will do, their followers reveal their true intentions. Advisors and Staff to Republican Governors of Florida, Texas and South Dakotano longer a bill sponsor in Iowahave made public comments this year, revealing that these bills are more about prejudice against transgender people than an actual political position.

Among the organizations supporting Senator Lee’s legislation are a litany of anti-LGBTQ+ organizations, including hate groups designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council. The work of these groups includes efforts to criminalize LGBTQ+ relationships, oppose established laws like marriage equality, and even oppose the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Businesses, advocacy groups and athletes oppose anti-trans legislation

Nearly 200 major US companies have spoken out in opposition to proposed anti-transgender legislation in states across the country. Companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Dell, Dow, Google, IBM, Lyft, Marriott, Microsoft, Nike and Paypal have objected to these bills. Four of America’s largest food companies also condemned “dangerous and discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender and non-binary people,” and the The Walton Family Foundation released a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.

The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups, representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1,000 child welfare organizations, have released an open letter calling on state legislators countries to oppose dozens of bills targeting LGBTQ+ people and transgender children in particular.

Nearly 550 college athletes have resisted anti-transgender legislation demanding that NCAA championships be removed from states that have enacted anti-trans sports laws.

A survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group found that when it comes to transgender youth participation in sports, the strong public tilt is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student-athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sport is important in the lives of young people. Young transgender people should have the opportunity to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.

Ja Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are considered full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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