WEST VIRGINIA — Today, the West Virginia State Senate passed HB 3293, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary level consistent with their gender identity. The bill now heads back to the House for concurrence on the Senate version.
West Virginia is one of 30 states that has introduced a slate of discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ legislation this session, part of a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are so far more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 105 directly target transgender people and about half of those (56 bills) would, like HB 3293, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.
Legislators across the country have failed to provide examples of issues in their states to attempt to justify these attacks, laying bare the reality that these are attacks on transgender youth that are fueled by discrimination and not supported by fact. Collegiate and professional sports organizations have had trans-inclusive policies for years without incident, and there is no reason West Virginia needs a ban on transgender participation in sports.
Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes oppose anti-trans legislation
A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern
These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — dangerous, anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.
Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters
In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:
Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”
States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm
Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.
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