Legislators in Alaska are preparing to mount a bid to ban athletes. (Stock photograph via Elements Envato)
As the Alaska legislative session draws to a close, a bill that would ban trans girls from school sports was rammed in by – you guessed it – Republican lawmakers.
According to AP, senator majority leader Shelley Hughes said the proposed measure is “the culmination of several months work” – but stressed that legislators will not be pushing the bill to pass before the end of the session on 19 May.
The bill, introduced Wednesday (12 May), would block trans girls from competing in school sporting events and competitions.
It would do this by making public and private schools tag their school-sponsored athletic teams or sports as male, female or co-ed. For a student to compete on the girl’s team, the measure states, they “must be female, based on the participant’s biological sex”.
“Currently, the legislature is focusing efforts on pressing and time-sensitive matters,” Hughes said in a statement to the news agency.
“That, and the fact that many committees have already begun ending their work this legislative session, means that my staff and I will be working over the interim on our plan to start the bill hearing process during the next legislative session.”
It’s a bill that state and local LGBT+ advocacy groups were quick to brand as “horrific”.
“This is not about fairness in women’s sports,” Laura Carpenter of Anchorage LGBT+ rights group Identity said.
“This is an anti-transgender bill that does not value trans lives.”
American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska also amplified calls to scrap the legislation, with director Michael Garvey saying it “singles out students who are transgender for discrimination”.
If passed, Alaska would be the latest in an alarming number of states that have bulldozed bans on trans athletes that, more often than not, rely on tired transphobic myths, campaigners stress.
Bans have this year been passed in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Alabama, West Virginia and Montana. But countless more have been stuffed into dockets – and many are hurtling towards becoming law, such as in Florida.
It comes as 2021 is shaping up to be a truly imperilling year for LGBT+ Americans.
More anti-LGBT+ legislation has been enacted in the US this year than any other year in history – a truly grim milestone that activists see as a spiteful “backlash” to Joe Biden’s pro-LGBT+ agenda.