HARRISBURG - Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation to bar transgender girls and women from participating in sports based on their gender identity. The House vote comes one day after a state Senate committee passed a similar bill.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is among the many opponents of these bills, along with Pa. Coalition Against Rape, Pa. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Women’s Law Project, and the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwestern Pa.
The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“Transgender people are an important part of our communities and belong everywhere, including in scholastic athletics. While some state lawmakers try to erase trans folks from public life, we stand with transgender youth, who simply want to live their lives as their true selves. Even with the governor’s veto assured, we will do everything necessary to defeat this bill.”
The following can be attributed to Naiymah Sanchez, trans rights organizer for the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“Being a part of school activities is an important part of a trans student’s experience. Athletics benefit trans students academically and emotionally. These legislators are pursuing a public policy of exclusion and are failing to look out for the welfare of all students, which includes trans students.
“Surveys show that these persistent political attacks are having negative impacts on the mental health of transgender young people, so I want to be clear to all trans youth out there that we will never stop fighting for you.”
The following can be attributed to Elizabeth Randol, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“At a time when they’re sitting on billions in Covid relief funds from the federal government, some state House members would prefer taking show votes for primary voters. This bill doesn’t solve a single high priority issue for Pennsylvanians, who are looking for economic relief and stability, properly funded schools and universities, clean water and air, and food security. Instead, the bill would force Pennsylvania schools to violate both the U.S. Constitution and Title IX, inviting unnecessary and costly litigation and potentially jeopardizing Pennsylvania’s federal education funding.
“It is appalling that supporters of this bill would use Title IX, a law designed to eradicate discrimination, as a tool to enforce discrimination against trans youth. Schools should be welcoming, inclusive environments for all students. This bill, tantamount to legislative bullying, forces exclusion and discrimination against trans youth on our schools.”