A far-left nonprofit is advocating against a bill passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that says transgender athletes must participate in athletic competition based on their sex at birth.
“Transgender people want to participate in athletics for the same reasons as their peers: to challenge themselves, improve fitness, and be part of a team. Banning trans students from participation in athletics is cruel and discriminatory,” the Pennsylvania ACLU said in a petition on its website.
“Despite the benefit of inclusive sports, some legislators in Harrisburg are trying to pass a bill, Senate Bill 1191, that would ban transgender girls and women from competing in school sports or athletics meant for ‘women and girls,'” it continues.
The Pennsylvania ACLU, which did not return a Friday comment request, says the political right is just seeking to divide.
“This bill is part of a larger campaign across the country to pit cisgender athletes against trans athletes, further the political and cultural divide in our state and in our nation, and keep the right-wing outrage machine humming along,” according to the petition.
The petition ultimately asks Pennsylvanians to contact their State Senators and encourage them to kill the bill.
SB 1191 is officially called the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.” It bans biological males from labeling themselves as transgender and competing in women’s sports, where they often have an advantage.
“Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women or girls … may not be open to students of the male sex,” the text of the bill says.
The issue has become a hot button one nationwide in the wake of biologically male transgender swimmer Lia Thomas competing in and winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 500-meter freestyle national championship last month.
Thomas was a male swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) until “transitioning” and joining the women’s team.
Though the ACLU is outspokenly in favor of such athletic competition, women’s groups in the state including the Pennsylvania National Organization for Women (PNOW), Women’s Way and the Women’s Law Project, all remained silent when asked by The Pennsylvania Daily Star whether they thought Thomas’ participation in women’s sports was fair.
Some of Thomas’ teammates complained, but to no avail.
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