Alabama bill to restrict transgender student athletes stalls in committee

Published: Feb. 14, 2020 at 4:15 AM CST
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A committee held a public hearing Thursday on a bill that would prohibit transgender students from competing on non-co-ed sports teams that do not align with the gender on their birth certificates.

The bill stalled in the House State Government Committee Thursday morning after lawmakers did not motion to take up a vote. However, Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile said the bill is not dead and he plans to bring it up again.

Pringle said this bill would level the playing field for women in sports in K-12 schools.

“The intention of this bill to ensure fair competition among student-athletes is built about supporting female athletes so they can compete against each other without having to compete against male athletes and they do have an unfair advantage,” Pringle said. “We’re not trying to discriminate. Transgender kids can compete in sports, but they must have to compete like everyone else according to the gender or their birth certificate.”

Six opponents spoke out against the bill Thursday. Carmarion Anderson is with the Human Rights Campaign. Anderson said she identifies as a black woman of trans experience.

"This bill targets transgender gender non-conforming youth with is discriminating plain and simple," Anderson said. "Transgender people are people. Transgender men are men. Transgender women are women. This bill is misguided and regional stigma, discrimination and misinformation about who transgender youth are."

Pringle said it would be up to the Alabama High School Athletic Association to determine how to figure out if students are playing on the correct team.

Pringle said he anticipates the bill will pass this session. Other states including Arizona and Tennessee are considering similar measures.

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