The story at a glance
- The Georgia High School Association, at a meeting Wednesday morning, voted to amend its constitution to clarify that a student’s gender should be defined as the one listed on their original birth certificate.
- The decision comes a week after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (right) signed into law a law banning transgender student athletes from competing on sports teams that match their gender identity.
- Including Georgia, 16 states have laws in place to prevent transgender athletes from participating in athletics.
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) on Wednesday voted unanimously to ban transgender student-athletes in the state from competing on sports teams that conform to their gender identity.
The move comes just a week after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed into law House Bill 1084, or the “Protect Students First Act,” which, among other things , creates a 10-member oversight committee to determine whether transgender students in Georgia can compete on sports teams that match their gender identity.
Kemp at a signing ceremony last week said the measure “will protect fairness in school sports.”
“I want every young girl in this state to have every opportunity to succeed in the sport she loves,” he said. “It shouldn’t be controversial.”
At a meeting on Wednesday morning, the GHSA passed a motion to add to its constitution that “a student’s sex is determined by the sex shown on his or her birth certificate.” according to meeting minutes.
Currently, the GHSA statutes and regulations for the 2021-2022 school year state that the high school association will “honor” a student’s gender identity as recognized by their school, and that the GHSA itself “will not make decisions about gender identity or ‘will consider appeals of the member school’s decision’.
Shortly after the reunion, Kemp celebrated the GHSA’s decision on Twitter.
“Following my signature on HB 1084, the Georgia High School Association today voted to protect fairness in school sports by unanimously allowing youth to compete based on the gender determined on their birth certificate,” he wrote. “I’m proud to have championed this effort in Georgia! »
The conservative political organization Frontline Policy Action, which helped lead the charge against transgender athletes in Georgia, also praised the GHSA for changing its constitution.
“Biological males should not and CANNOT play women’s sports in Georgia!” the group, which presents itself as a “biblical organization”, said Wednesday on Facebook.
But some have accused the GHSA and Kemp of discriminating against transgender youth in the state by “prioritizing policy over children.”
“This decision is absolutely devastating for families like mine,” said Jen Slipakoff, a Georgia resident and parent of a transgender student. said in a statement Wednesday published by the Human Rights Campaign.
“The cruelty that accompanies the pursuit of the most vulnerable children is truly staggering,” Slipakoff said. “The painful consequences are going to be detrimental to the mental health of every trans child, and they will be negatively impacted for years to come, if not the rest of their lives.”
Including Georgia, 16 states have laws in place that prohibit transgender athletes from participating in sports teams that conform to their gender identity. In almost every stateguidelines issued by the state’s high school athletic association prohibit or restrict the participation of transgender students in athletics.
Published in May. 05, 2022