ATLANTA — Transgender student athletes in Georgia cannot compete on sports teams matching their gender identity after a Georgia High School Association vote.
They say student athletes must compete based on their sex at birth. For example, a trans athlete who was born male must compete against males not against women.
The vote comes just days after Gov. Brian Kemp signed a slew of controversial education bills, one of the most contentious being House Bill 1084. It was a move Kemp said was in effort to "protect fairness."
Senators previously voted to flatly ban transgender boys and girls from playing on the school sports teams matching their gender identity, but House Speaker David Ralston had blocked that measure.
"Boys will play with boys and girls will play with girls, except for in those cases where a commensurate sport is not offered to females, such as football for instance. They are able to do that under Title IX," said GHSA executive director Robin Hines.
Hines explained the reasoning for the decision.
"The rational for the proposal is for fairness in sports and to make sure the competitive balance is there. You know, understanding that there are biological differences in males and females in athletic and competitive nature," said Hines.
He says 74 members were on the committee; none of them argued against the rule.
"The Georgia High School Association does not discriminate against anyone, including females; and our focus and our goal is to have fair competitions and competitive balance; and the association believes this will allow for that to happen," added Hines.
GHSA also voted in the new board of trustees for the next two years.