NASHVILLE, TN — (11-16-21) — Leading Civil rights groups Lambda Legal and the ACLU have filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the state of Tennessee challenging its ban on Transgender athletes from participating in school sports, arguing that their actions are unconstitutional and discriminatory.

“Today, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Tennessee filed a lawsuit challenging a Tennessee law excluding transgender youth from participating in school sports,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement submitted to JRL CHARTS LGBT Politics News Division.

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Earlier this year, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into Law SB 228, “Which requires public middle and high school students to play sports based on the sex listed on their original birth certificates. Lee’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.”

Supporters of the Republican legislation claim that the law is aimed at protecting fairness in school sports by eliminating what they see as an inherent physical competitive advantage of transgender athletes playing in school sports.

The lawsuit is on behalf of a student in the state of Tennessee who says that Tennessee Law SB 228, prevents him from trying out for the boys’ golf team at his school.

“SB 228 was passed not to protect female athletes but to marginalize transgender people. The law amounts to a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group, which is an impermissible government purpose and fails any level of equal protection scrutiny,” said the lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal and the ACLU. It was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee last Thursday.

At least 35 bills to exclude transgender youth from school sports have been introduced in 31 states so far in 2021, up from 29 in 2020 and two in 2019, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Equal rights advocates state that the anti-transgender bills being pushed by conservatives is nothing more than red meat to energize social conservatives.

“The emotional cost of this law to transgender student athletes is tremendous,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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