Alabama and Montana have progressed bills which aim to bar trans athletes from participating in school sports, with both states passing the prospective bills along to the Senate. According to The News & Observer, the Alabama House of Representatives voted 74 – 19 in favour of the bill, with Republican rep. Scott Stadthagen saying: “It is unfair for biological males to compete against females in high school sports.” No evidence was given of any trans athletes in the state, leading Democrats to question the need for the bill.
Meanwhile in Montana, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill against trans athletes, alongside one which would prohibit medical professionals from providing gender-affirming healthcare to young trans people. Both bills will now be passed onto the state Senate. Democrat senator Diane Sands described the proposed laws as “hateful” and “heinous”, and said she was “ashamed” of the state for considering them.
An estimated 26 US states are currently considering bills which target young trans people. Mississippi is the first state to have officially banned trans athletes from competing in 2021, raising concern among LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. Despite increased hostility towards trans youth, a 2021 study from the Centre for American Progress found trans inclusion in school sports poses no threat to cis students, and may actually increase overall participation among people of all gender identities. The report found anti-trans rhetoric relies on “scare tactics, stereotypes, and unwarranted claims that transgender women have a physiological advantage over cisgender women,” rather than actual evidence.