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Georgia parents of transgender athletes react to new ‘female-only sports’ bill

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Georgia parents of transgender athletes react to new ‘female-only sports’ bill

Closeup of the Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Connor Carey. Source: Wikimedia Commons
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BY LILY OPPENHEIMER, WABE 

Atlanta, GA — Georgia LGBTQ advocacy groups are criticizing new legislation that they say discriminates against transgender youth.

Republican state Rep. Philip Singleton announced House Bill 276 on Thursday, along with 36 other House members who have already co-signed the legislation.

Singleton announced the bill would stop state public schools and universities from allowing “biological males to participate in girl-only sports.” If passed, HB 276 would also allow students to sue schools that deprive them of athletic opportunities, as a result of violating the law.

“No one here is concerned with how any person chooses to identify their gender,” Singleton said during a press conference in the Georgia Capitol building, alongside his family and other young, female athletes lined up behind him.

“We believe every single athlete should have the opportunity to compete, and there is no place for identity politics, or discrimination of any type, in sports.”

Singleton then introduced his 10-year-old daughter Emma and put her in front of the mic, saying the bill is about biology and physiology, not psychology or sociology.

“I don’t think it is fair for girls who are playing in girls-only sports to have to play against boys,” she said.

“The boys are naturally born stronger and can usually beat girls.”

But one former Georgia politician is joining in with critics of the bill who say it’s a discriminatory, shameful attack on Georgia’s transgender youth and young adults.

Jen Slipakoff ran to represent Georgia’s State House District 36 in 2018. She said her daughter — a young, transgender athlete in a conservative Georgia district — would be devastated if the bill passes.

“I haven’t told her. I haven’t told her because I don’t know what to tell her,” Slipakoff said in response to a question about her daughter’s reaction to HB 276.

“What do you say to that? There’s some lawmaker who has never met a transgender person, probably, who thinks that you should not play? Who has never met you, and thinks you shouldn’t play lacrosse with your friends? What a heartbreaking conversation.”

The bill would force state universities to disregard NCAA guidance on transgender athlete inclusion.

This story was provided by WABE

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