PHOENIX, Ariz. – The ACLU of Arizona announced today that it is prepared to sue the state if lawmakers pass legislation that discriminates against transgender youth by limiting their ability to participate in sports.
“Politicians are considering invasive and discriminatory legislation that unconstitutionally targets transgender kids. If the Senate passes House Bill 2706 and the governor signs it, we will see them in court,” said Amanda Parris, policy counsel at the ACLU of Arizona. “Transgender students deserve the same opportunity to compete in sports like anyone else. We won’t allow politicians to write discrimination into the law, and we will fight to uphold the constitutional and legal rights of transgender students.”
HB 2706 is a dangerous and discriminatory bill that would single out transgender student athletes and force unnecessary medical examinations, like invasive genetic testing, on young student athletes.
Arizona joins a growing list of states where transgender people and their ability to fully participate in life is being attacked. Bills that single out students who are transgender for discrimination violate state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection.
The National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation, Women Leaders in College Sports and others support trans-inclusive policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students from participating in sports.
“Transgender girls are girls, and transgender boys are boys. Transgender students participate in sports for the same reasons that other students do. They want to enjoy the activities, challenge themselves and be a part of a team,” Parris said. “Participation in sports has been shown to lead to better grades, better academic performance, and improved self-esteem.”