Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Tuesday blasted a bill put forward in the Arizona legislature that would prevent transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports.
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Warren’s comments: The Democratic presidential candidate called the legislation “cruel,” saying transgender people are “not a threat.”
Trans athletes are not a threat. We need to protect trans kids—and all LGBTQ+ kids—and ensure they feel safe and welcomed at school. I urge the Arizona legislature to reject this cruel bill. https://t.co/9ALVjeIBiv
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 20, 2020
The bill called “Save Women’s Sports Act” would have leagues label sports as male, female, or mixed-gender, based on biological sex, not the gender athletes identify with, and ban male athletes from taking part in female competitions and vice versa, The Arizona Republic reports.
Athletes who disagree with their designation would have to provide a sworn doctor’s statement outlining the student’s “internal and external reproductive anatomy” and “normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone.”
The rules were introduced by Rep. Nancy Barto (R-AZ) and would apply both to public and private schools, as well as community colleges and universities.
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“Female student-athletes should not be forced to compete in a sport against biological males, who possess inherent physiological advantages. When this is allowed, it discourages female participation in athletics and, worse, it can result in women and girls being denied crucial educational and financial opportunities,” Barto said in a statement.
Democratic candidates vying for the White House in 2020 support another legislation, called the Equality Act, which would compel public schools to allow transgender athletes to compete in categories that match their gender identities.
The House passed the bill in May 2019. All Democratic lawmakers in the lower chamber voted in favor of the legislation, along with eight Republicans.
The debate over whether transgender athletes, who were born as males, should compete in women’s sports remains a polarizing issue. Women at all levels of sport have begun openly criticizing rules that allow transgender people to participate in women’s categories as trans athletes continue to win medals.
The issue recently prompted the families of three high school girls in Connecticut to file a lawsuit against the local athletic association to stop transgender athletes from competing in girls’ sports. They point to the multiple times transgender competitors outperformed them, stripping them of chances at scholarships and state records.
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