February 4, 2021 (New York, NY and Atlanta, GA) — Athlete Ally, a national nonprofit working to dismantle the systems of oppression in sport that isolate, exclude and endanger LGBTQI+ people, and Georgia Equality, a state-based organization working to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for LGBT communities and allies, responded to today to Georgia’s proposed anti-transgender legislation House Bill (HB) 276.
HB 276 would force an already vulnerable group of young people in Georgia onto the sidelines. For transgender youth, many of whom experience high rates of depression and suicidality, access to sport can be lifesaving. Sport also teaches invaluable, lifelong lessons about teamwork, discipline and hard work, and every young person deserves equal access and opportunity.
At the college level, HB276 would require universities to go against the NCAA guidance for trans athlete inclusion that has been in place since 2011. Given that Georgia is slated to host NCAA championships over the next few years, HB276 would place the state in direct opposition to the NCAA’s 2016 anti discrimination policy. Georgia is also a contender to host 2026 World Cup games, and any anti-LGBTQ+ legislation will greatly jeopardize their chances of winning the bid.
“This is a shameful attack on Georgia’s transgender youth and young adults. The proposed legislation does nothing to protect or support girls sports, rather it serves only to spread hateful stereotypes and endangers children and their ability to fully participate in important extracurricular activities.” said Statewide Outreach Manager Shannon Clawson. “Furthermore, these actions will jeopardize our state’s ability to host important sporting events such as the World Cup and various NCAA events.”
“Athlete Ally is committed to fighting each and every piece of legislation that attacks the humanity of transgender youth, and that includes this proposed bill in Georgia,” said Anne Lieberman, Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally. “HB 276 is attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist — transgender youth in Georgia simply want to participate in sports and be a part of a team with their friends.”