Tennessee State Rep. Bruce Griffey has filed legislation that would push back against the transgender movement by creating consequences for Tennessee schools and officials that allow boys to compete in sports against girls and vice versa.
Griffey is calling HB 1572 the Girls Athletic Protection (GAP) Act. The legislation stipulates that elementary and secondary educational institutions getting state or local funds must enforce biology-based gender segregation in school sports. Schools that fail to do so would lose their state and local funding until they are found to be compliant.
The bill specifically notes that students’ gender shall be determined based on their “original birth certificate issued at the time of birth”:
Each elementary and secondary school in this state that receives any type of public funding from this state or a local government, or both, shall require, for an official or unofficial school-sanctioned athletic or sporting event, that each athlete participating in the athletic or sporting event participates with and competes against other athletes based on the athlete’s biological sex as indicated on the athlete’s original birth certificate issued at the time of birth. A school shall not accept any birth certificate for purposes of participation in an athletic or sporting event that has been revised or amended with respect to the sex of an athlete.
The GAP Act also calls for a civil suit against officials who flout the rules. Those who are found to have purposefully disregarded the demands of this legislation would lose their jobs and suffer a five-year penalty during which they may not occupy public office or be school administrators or principals. The legislation also says that, “The civil penalty for a violation of this section is not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).”
“Boys and men, due to testosterone levels, bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size, have physical advantages in sports relative to girls and women,” Rep. Griffey stated in a Facebook post. “These very biological differences are the reason sports have been bisected into separate male and female competitions – to allow females to compete in an environment that is not weighted against them. For this reason, it is fundamentally unfair to allow someone biologically born a male, but who now identifies as a female, to compete in an athletic competition against biologically born females, who are disadvantaged.”
He also noted that this issue impacts young girls seeking to use their athletic talents to secure college opportunities: “It’s particularly unfair for high school athletes, who are born female and who are competing for college admissions and even college scholarships that will determine their entire life path,” he wrote.