Transgender kids are kids and they deserve the same opportunities, inclusion, and community as all other kids. No child should face discrimination or be excluded simply for being true to themself.
To all the students who will be affected by this law, we stand by you and we will not stop fighting. You are cherished. You are loved. You belong.
Two significant bills were filed this year attacking transgender student athletes. Senate Bill 83 bans transgender girls from participating in girls' sports. House Bill 23 would go further, banning all transgender students from participating on teams that match their gender identity. Both bills were amended to apply to people from sixth grade through college. Senate Bill 83 is the only bill that moved this year. Read the full bill text and see the list of bill sponsors for SB83 here and HB23 here. SB83 became law on April 13 when lawmakers overrode Governor Beshear's veto.
Trans and non-binary Kentuckians still have rights and are protected from discrimination under the US Constitution and federal and state laws. Schools and athletic groups must follow these laws and not exclude transgender students from participating fully in school activities.
Senate Bill 83 and House Bill 23 are unconstitutional and a waste of tax dollars.
17 bills attacking transgender people were enacted into law in 2021 nationwide, more than in any other past year. Several are now blocked in court. Laws that violate rights, censor speech, and ban healthcare are subject to legal challenges. If the state loses in court, it will foot the bill. Similar legislation has been blocked in federal court, including the Arkansas ban on healthcare, the Tennessee “bathroom bill,” and the West Virginia athlete exclusion law.
SB83 and HB23 could jeopardize NCAA participation.
SB83 and HB23 could jeopardize Kentucky colleges' and universities' participation in organizations like the National Collegiate Athletics Association because these bills could force colleges and universities to violate NCAA policies.
Children need support and inclusion.
Participation creates positive outcomes:
Having the opportunity to participate in sports results in positive outcomes for students—better grades, greater homework completion, higher educational and occupational aspirations, and improved self-esteem.
Students participate in sports for the same reasons:
Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve fitness, and be part of a team. Pushing some of our most vulnerable children out of their community tell them the adults in their life do not believe they deserve to live a full life.
Equal protection and privacy rights apply to all people:
Bills that single out and discriminate against transgender students violate state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection. Documenting a child's chromosomes and reproductive anatomy violate their privacy. No child should be forced to undergo a genital exam to prove who they are.
Professional athlete and athletic organizations support the inclusion of trans athletes:
The National Women’s Law Center, Women’s Sports Foundation, Women Leaders in College Sports, and others support inclusive policies.
Senate Bill 83 Movement:
- Introduced: 1/11/22
- Passed Senate Committee: 2/10/22
- Passed Senate: 2/16/22 (Vote: 27–8)
- Accepted by House: 2/17/22
- Passed House Committee: 3/9/22
- Passed House: 3/17/22 (Vote: 70–23)
- Final Passage with Senate Approving House Amendments: 3/24/22 (Vote: 26–9)
- Sent to Governor: 3/25/22
- Vetoed by Governor: 4/6/22
- Vote to Override Governor's Veto in Senate: 4/13/22 (Vote: 29–8)
- Vote to Override Governor's Veto in House: 4/13/22 (Vote: 72–23)
House Bill 23 Movement:
- Pre-filed: 6/11/21
- Introduced: 1/4/22
- Passed House Committee: 2/10/22
- Passed House: N/A
- Accepted by Senate: N/A
- Passed Senate Committee: N/A
- Passed Senate: N/A
- Sent to Governor: N/A
- Action by Governor: N/A