By WLKY Digital Team
FRANKFORT, Kentucky (WLKY) — The Kentucky General Assembly moved forward with a bill banning transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports, sending the measure to Gov. Andy Beshear and leading to an LGBTQ+ rights group to speak out in opposition.
Senate Bill 83 says, “An athletic activity or sport designated as ‘girls’ shall not be open to members of the male sex.” The Republican-backed bill would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports that match their identity.
The bill applies to students in sixth grade to college.
According to SB 83, athletic eligibility would be determined by a student’s birth certificate. Republicans in other states have passed similar measures.
After it passed the General Assembly, the Fairness Campaign in Kentucky called the efforts by the lawmakers “shameful.” They are calling on Beshear to veto the measure.
“Now the only transgender girl we know currently playing sports in Kentucky schools, a 12-year-old seventh-grader who started her middle school’s field hockey team will be denied the opportunity to play with her friends during her eighth-grade year. The Fairness Campaign now calls on Kentucky’s most pro-equality Gov. Andy Beshear to protect the lives of transgender youth and let all Kentucky kids play by vetoing Senate Bill 83,” said Chris Hartman, executive director for the Fairness Campaign.
The ACLU of Kentucky spoke out on social media, saying that the measure is “rooted in hate, unconstitutional and could jeopardize (Kentucky) universities’ participation in NCAA.”
Members of the ACLU said the bill is a “solution in search of a non-existent problem.”
“Trans kids, just like all kids, simply want to participate in the activities they love, including athletics. Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve fitness, and be part of a team,” the ACLU said in a part in a statement posted Thursday.
It should be noted that the bill specifically targets transgender girls, not transgender boys.
GOP-led states increasingly have adopted such prohibitions on transgender girls or women, though the culture war-related bans have been challenged in several states as violations of federal law. Republican governors in Utah and Indiana this week vetoed bans in their states.
Democratic Sen. Karen Berg said the issue was whipped up by outside groups reaching out to lawmakers across the country.
And while Beshear can veto the bill, the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly means that the governor’s decision can be overridden.
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