HARRISBURG — Today, the state Senate passed House Bill 972, legislation that would ban participation in school sports by transgender students in public schools and state-funded universities and colleges. 

“Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve fitness, and be part of a team,” said Naiymah Sanchez, trans rights organizer at the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “Inclusion of girls and women who are transgender in athletics supports the ongoing investment in all girls through access to sports and other athletic activities.”

The bill’s passage comes as the Hempfield School District nears a vote on a similar ban on trans students participating in school athletics in Lancaster. 

“This bill is part of a hate-filled and coordinated campaign to stoke the culture war, divide Pennsylvanians, and distract from the real issues facing the commonwealth and our nation,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The state legislature could be working to protect democracy and voting rights or addressing the myriad problems in the criminal legal system, among so many other issues. Instead, some legislators are attacking children to score political points. It needs to stop.”

The bill now heads to Governor Wolf, who is expected to veto the legislation.