June 8, 2022 — Athlete Ally responded to news that Louisiana legislators have banned transgender women and girls from competing in sports consistent with their gender identity at all public and some private schools that receive state funding. Governor John Bel Edwards failed to take any executive action to approve or veto the bill, despite preventing a similar ban this time last year. Louisiana now becomes the 18th state to pass legislation banning transgender athletes from participating in sports.
“Governor Edwards knows that this ban sends an incredibly harmful message to young people, but nevertheless, he caved to pressure from politicians who’ve threatened to override a veto,” said Peyton Rose Michelle (she/her), Secretary on the Board of Directors of LA Trans Advocates. “Gov. Edwards says he is being pragmatic, but he missed a powerful opportunity to affirm trans youth and set an example for all Louisianans. He failed our children this week — children who just want to be able to grow up happy and healthy. Extremists will weaponize this ban and keep pushing to erase and harass trans youth, so I encourage all Louisianans to stand in solidarity with trans kids in our communities. No matter what politicians say, trans kids belong here and everywhere.”
“We are heartbroken to see Louisiana become the 18th state to sideline transgender young people from the lifesaving power of sports,” said Joanna Hoffman (she/her), Director of Communications at Athlete Ally. “Louisiana’s ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act’ does nothing to protect fairness in women’s sports. We know that the proven threats to women’s sports include sexual abuse and harassment, unequal pay, and a lack of resources. Transgender girls and women are nowhere on that list.
These discriminatory bills are attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, and in doing so are sending a message to transgender girls and women that they do not belong in sport. We are grateful to the advocates on the ground in Louisiana, and we will continue fighting to ensure that transgender people everywhere are safe, welcome and included in all parts of their life, including sports.”
For more information on achieving gender equity in sport through inclusive policies and practices, please see the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE) report, Title IX at 50.