Tennessee Senate Passes Pair Of Bills Regarding Transgender Athletes

Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov

The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –

The Tennessee Senate passed a pair of bills on Monday night that would prevent athletes who were born as males from competing in female athletics.

The first bill, where the Senate conformed to previously passed House Bill 1895, added a monetary penalty for local school districts that do not determine a student’s gender on a birth certificate for school sports eligibility. That bill will now move on to Gov. Bill Lee.

The second bill, Senate Bill 2153, would prevent students at colleges and universities from competing in female sports if their birth certificate says male. The companion bill is scheduled for the House Finance, Ways and Means subcommittee on Wednesday.

Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, sponsored both bills and said that the legislation was about “setting a level playing field for our female athletes.”


The first bill, which passed 26-5, is a follow-up to a law passed last year.

“The bill was passed and there was no penalty for enforcement,” Hensley said.

Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, and Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, spoke in opposition to both bills.

“There are kids who feel targeted by this legislature,” Yarbro said. “These are typically kids who are struggling with a lot that most of us do not understand.”

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Yarbro said that the students impacted by the bills are “at more risk of committing suicide than anyone else.”

“The more humane thing for this legislature to do is to leave well enough alone” Yarbro said.

Hensley explained that Tennessee’s Department of Education will be in charge of making the specific rules to enforce the monetary penalties for local school districts. If a school district then follows the rule, the funding will resume.

Akbari said that she believes the NCAA is a better group to determine the rules for college athletics than the legislature.

But Hensley cited Lia Thomas, a transgender athlete at the University of Pennsylvania who recently won the 500-yard freestyle race at the NCAA Division I women’s swimming championships, and her opponents who placed second and third place in the event.

About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.

2 thoughts on “Tennessee Senate Passes Pair Of Bills Regarding Transgender Athletes

  • April 15, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Why are Democrats so focused on destroying everything that makes America great?

    Women deserve the right to compete fairly but competing against someone with
    male physical traits is not fair!

    Democrats only want to cater to every special interest group to get votes and for
    that reason only!

    Allowing so called transgenders to compete again women is just plain wrong!

    Thank you to our state government for taking action!

  • April 16, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    Trying to “FORCE” people into “BELIEVING/ACCEPTING” their “PERVERTED DOCTRINE” is going to end in a major “REVOLT” by the “CHRISTIAN RIGHT”.

    All of this “WOKE DOCTRINE” is an attack on the “CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE”.


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