Integrity Score 902
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The so-called “Save Women's Sports Act” by 43 Republican representatives, attempts to ban trans girls and femme athletes from participating in school sports in South Carolina, by imposing the violence of an unscientific gender binary that dismisses the talent, grit and commitment of all women athletes.
In line with the 75 anti-trans sports bills from this year, South Carolina’s bill is attempting to normalize scrutinizing all athletes, reducing them to their bodies through harmful gender essentialist concepts that perpetuate patriarchal femininity and toxic masculinity.
The fear-mongering against trans athletes is highly misinformed: “There is no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender female individuals (or male individuals) have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition,” according to a Sports Medicine journal reviewing 8 research studies and 31 sport policies.
These anti-trans bills are against science: they carry on the institutional erasure of intersex people through their unscientific and baseless claims about dividing young athletes in line with a ‘sex binary’ that has never existed.
South Carolina’s bill attempts to give cisgender students the power to demand ‘compensation’ for playing with their transgender peers, and to get “relief” for “damages” from a school that calls out transphobia and attempts to create a safe space for trans athletes.
It would also let cisgender students sue schools that allows trans athletes to participate; gives schools the power to sue if their team competes with a team that has trans athletes; and safeguards anti-trans policies by not allowing government entities to challenge the ban.
The harm created by these bills extends far beyond sports – 85 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth said in a poll, that their mental health was negatively impacted by legislative attacks on their identities.
SC HB 4608 was read for the second time on 5th April, 2022.