West Virginia governor says he’ll sign transgender athlete ban into law

West Virginia Government Jim Justice – Photo: Facebook.

The West Virginia government has promised Jim Justice to sign a law that would prohibit transgender youth from competing in sports based on their gender identity.

Speaking at a briefing on COVID-19 on Wednesday, Justice said he supports the bill, which would apply to sports sponsored by intercostic, intramural and club athletic teams or public K-12 schools or colleges and universities, those institutions. Is required to designate a game. As male, female or co-ed, with eligibility based on a person’s prescribed gender at birth.

“Personally I think I’m all right, through my head it doesn’t make sense that it’s the right thing for us not to support the bill at a middle school level or a high school level in our state “Justice said,” according to the Wheeling-based CBS affiliate WTRF. “Even at our college level, I support the bill there as well. The only problem the NCAA can punish us in is West Virginia. “

The NCAA has recently – timidly – reiterated its long-standing policy stating that all athletes wishing to host NCAA tournaments or sporting events compete in a safe environment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity Must be able to provide opportunities for.

The Collegiate Sports Association noted that in view of the presence of LGBTQ laws, it would be decided which states or cities have been given hosting opportunities.

Current NCAA regulations allow transgender athletes to compete in sports based on gender by which they identify, so long as they are stable in their gender identity and undergo hormone therapy for a full year before competition .

Under the West Virginia bill, transgender female athletes would be barred from competing in sports designated for women, but those who are assigned sex at birth are female – whether they are cisgender women or trans men – to them. It will be allowed to compete in the men’s game.

The bill assures any student that they have missed an athletic opportunity due to the involvement of a transgender athlete to sue for damages.

It also classifies a student’s gender based on their prescribed gender at birth, and requires all students to provide the school administrator with a copy of the original birth certificate for admission to school.

Once he signs the bill into law, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Arkansas Gov. After Asa Hutchinson and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Justice will become the fourth governor to ban transgender athletes in the US.

See it all: Athletes, coaches ask NCAAs to pull championships from state with opposing laws

Just like in many other states, Republican legislators in West Virginia have prohibited the inclusion of transgender in schools – not only in sports, but acknowledging their existence – an issue that they consider to be electoral awards. Will get back

As a result, nearly identical legislation – from trans athlete bans to penning gender-affirming doctors to ban LGBTQ content in schools – has been introduced in about 30 states.

These bills are often supported by conservative interest groups that previously opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, or they passed legislation requiring individuals and businesses to deny service to same-sex couples or LGBTQ individuals Was allowed.

Last year, Idaho lawmakers banned transgender athletes, which were later challenged in court Blocked from being effective By a federal judge. That legal battle continues.

LGBTQ advocates blasted the West Virginia bill in pushing the bill and accused lawmakers of “preventing fear and division”.

“There is no evidence that supports this law requirement, and it would endanger the well-being of transgender children across the state – who are just children who want to play,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the statement. “The health and safety of children should never be politically talked about. West Virginians need state legislators to prioritize COVID-19 epidemics and economic relief, not manufactured issues that discriminate transgender youth. “

Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider said the bill initially prohibited athletes from competing only in K-12 schools based on their gender identity, as it has moved through the legislature.

He warned that any law seen as attacking the LGBTQ community could prompt some in the business community to boycott the state or Refusal to expand the operation In West Virginia, As it happened in north carolina After the passage of the bill of that state in 2016 and 2017 that allow transgender persons to use restricted facilities.

“This bill now essentially allows any member of the public to challenge the gender of athletes in courts, and it was expanded to ban transgender athletes,” he said in a statement. “If this bill becomes law, it will be a legal and financial disaster for our state.”

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