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'The idea of trans dominance is completely overblown’: ACLU Deputy Dir. for Transgender Justice

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The Wisconsin Assembly became the latest legislative body in the U.S. to pass a measure banning transgender athletes from playing girls’ and women’s sports on Wednesday.

The fight over the rights of transgender athletes to compete in girls’ and women’s athletics has spilled over to more than a dozen states as lawmakers in Idaho, Montana, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and most recently Florida have passed legislation since the beginning of 2020 to ban them from the field.

While these measures have been passed in mostly Republican-leaning states, some have been vetoed by Democrats such as Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

Chase Strangio, a transgender man who serves as the ACLU’s Deputy Director for Transgender Justice, pushed back against the notion critics of transgender athletes have pushed, that they have an unfair physical advantage over girls and women. “The idea of trans dominance is completely overblown. It’s a myth,” he said.

Weightlifting - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Women's +90kg - Final - Carrara Sports Arena 1 - Gold Coast, Australia - April 9, 2018. Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand competes. REUTERS/Paul Childs
Weightlifting - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Women's +90kg - Final - Carrara Sports Arena 1 - Gold Coast, Australia - April 9, 2018. Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand competes. REUTERS/Paul Childs

“At the Olympic level...the most elite level of sporting competition, trans women and girls have been eligible to compete,” said Strangio. “Laurel [Hubbard] will be the first trans woman to ever qualify. Her current statistics do not even put her in medal contention.”

Hubbard, 43, is a transgender weightlifter from New Zealand who is widely expected to represent her country at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Belgian rival Anna Vanbellinghen has said that Hubbard’s development “from puberty to the age of 35, with the hormonal system of a man” is “an advantage” and “unfair.”

The bills banning transgender athletes in the U.S. from competition are “targeting trans people for discrimination at very young ages,” Strangio told Yahoo Finance. “High school, middle school, elementary school athletics in the United States [is] importing even more stringent inclusion policies than we see on the Olympic stage.”

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