FFRF Opposes Sports and Bathroom Bans

“Protecting women’s sports” has become a major rallying cry  by religiously motivated opponents of transgender people, especially transgender youth. This issue is completely manufactured: School and professional athletic associations have had policies governing how and when transgender people may compete as their identified gender since the early 2000s, and there is no evidence to support the idea that trans women consistently outcompete their cisgender counterparts. There is certainly no evidence to support the bizarre idea that low performing male athletes decide to radically alter their lives and bodies just in order to dominate women’s sports.

The recent attacks on transgender women and girls playing sports is much more an attempt to vilify trans people, rather than to solve any real problem. The fact that the majority of these sports bans specifically target trans girls and women, while being suspiciously silent on the topic of trans boys and men, alone makes it clear that these athletes have become religion’s latest boogeyman.

Similarly, the many bills requiring students to use the bathrooms/locker rooms that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate (or some other legal definition of sex depending on the state) typically present it as an issue of protecting girls and women from sexual assault. Once again, this is a solution to a problem that does not exist— trans people have been using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity for as long as sex-segregated bathrooms have existed. There is no evidence to suggest that allowing trans women to use women’s restrooms leads to a rise in sexual assaults.

Any law that requires school employees, sports officials or other authority figures to make determinations of gender will ultimately rely on religious, misogynistic understandings of gender presentation and race-based stereotyping, as well as dramatically empower religious individuals to force their views on gender expression onto their communities. Some bills even go so far as to empower officials to conduct genital exams, ironically increasing the risk of sexual assault far more than a transgender person in a bathroom ever could.

Learn more about FFRF’s efforts here:

FFRF praises Utah gov, condemns spate of transgender bans

FFRF signs on to brief against Indiana’s discriminatory trans sports ban

FFRF’s Jayne to testify against WI anti-trans bills

Removal of transgender protection laws violates state/church separation

Freedom From Religion Foundation