Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed into law a bill requiring students to prove their sex at birth in order to participate in middle and high school sports.
The bill, which Lee signed on Friday, makes Tennessee the third state this month to adopt legislation aimed at restricting transgender girls from playing female sports. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a similar bill on Thursday, as did Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves earlier this month.
The new law in Tennessee requires students beyond the fourth grade to show legal documents demonstrating their assigned sex at the time of their birth in order to participate in school athletics. The law only allows students to participate in sports with other students with the same biological sex designated at birth.
“I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition,” Lee tweeted after approving it. “This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and I commend members of the General Assembly for their bipartisan work.”
Like others, the Tennessee bill has been universally criticized by LGBTQ advocates, and seems destined for a response in court. The ACLU of Tennessee has already promised a legal challenge.
Many see the bills as a response to President Biden’s executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity in schools and other areas.