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Governor Lee signs anti-trans athlete bill 'to preserve women's athletics'

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 23:57:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee signed the anti-trans athlete bill, saying it will "preserve women's athletics and ensure fair competition."

According to the bill, student-athletes would be required to prove that their sex matches the student’s “original” birth certificate in order to participate in public school sports.

The House voted 71 to 16 with 5 abstentions to pass the bill Monday.

Governor Lee posted the following message to Twitter after signing the legislation:

"I signed the bill to preserve women's athletics and ensure fair competition. This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and I commend members of the General Assembly for their bipartisan work."

Opponents said the bill would likely result in vulnerable students being marginalized. ACLU of Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg released the following statement in response to Lee's signing of the bill.

“Governor Lee’s rush to discriminate against transgender children is appalling. Transgender people have the right to participate in sports consistent with who they are, just like everyone else. Denying this right is pure discrimination.

“When Lee has made every effort to deny women the ability to make decisions about their own bodies, his grandstanding about protecting women’s rights by discriminating against transgender children is disingenuous at best. The marginalization of trans student athletes is rooted in the same kind of gender discrimination and stereotyping that has held back cisgender women athletes.

“Should any student be excluded because of this shameful legislation, we will see him in court.”