March 6, 2021 (New York, NY) — Athlete Ally responded today to news that the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated a GOP-led amendment to the COVID relief bill that would have stripped federal funding from any states, school districts and universities allowing transgender women and girls or nonbinary athletes to participate in sports.
The Tuberville Amendment, brought by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) received 49 votes in favor and 50 votes opposing.
In response to the Amendment, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said “All students, including transgender students, benefit from participating in sports: to challenge themselves, to improve fitness, to be part of a team. Allowing transgender students to participate in athletic activities consistent with their gender identity in no way disadvantages their fellow students.
“For the love of God, can’t we just have a little bit of heart and compassion in this world for someone who doesn’t look or live exactly like you?” Murray continued. “Instead of focusing on discriminatory policies, we should be examining the real issues with gender parity in sports when it comes to funding and resources and pay equity. I oppose this amendment because it discriminates against transgender students. It is a harmful attempt to undermine our work to help students and families.”
Athlete Ally is profoundly grateful for the Senators who voted against this horrific attack on transgender and nonbinary student athletes, and especially those like Sen. Murray who have spoken out about the importance of ensuring access and participation for all students. Access to sport is a human right, and every transgender and nonbinary student deserves to be safe, welcome and included in all areas of their life, especially and including sports.