Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Wednesday that biological males competing in girls’ athletics will “destroy women’s sports.”
“I do believe that transgenders participating in women’s sports will destroy women’s sports,” Lee told reporters.
“It will ruin the opportunity for girls to earn scholarships. … I think it’s bad for women and for women’s sports.”
Lee’s comments come as Tennessee Republicans began advancing a proposal this week barring biological males from competing against girls in public school sports.
Lee stopped short of promising to sign the legislation should it come to his desk, but he reiterated that he believes transgender athletes would put “a glass ceiling back over women that hasn’t been there in some time.”
Tennessee is one of a dozen states where lawmakers are moving to bar males from competing against female student athletes.
Lawmakers debated a similar bill last year which cleared the Tennessee House but ultimately stalled in the Senate.
On his first day in office, Democratic President Joe Biden signed an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” The order specifically stipulated that transgender children should not be denied access to “the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”
“I will say, that particular executive order is a tremendous overreach of the federal government into the states,” Lee said Wednesday.
Currently, a similar 2020 Idaho law is making its way in court after being blocked by a federal judge.
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