AFT Resolution

CONDEMN STATE BILLS AND LAWS BANNING TRANSGENDER YOUTH FROM PARTICIPATING IN SPORTS, AND DECLARE: ‘LET TRANS KIDS PLAY!’

WHEREAS, in 2022, there have been over 300 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills introduced in state legislatures, and 137 of them have been specifically anti-transgender bills;[1] and

WHEREAS, in 2021, 31 states[2] introduced bills that would ban transgender children and adolescents from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and 17 states[3] now have laws banning transgender youth participating in sports; and

WHEREAS, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults ages 10 to 34 years in the United States,[4] and transgender and nonbinary adolescents report significantly higher rates of suicide attempts, up to five times greater, compared to their cisgender peers;[5] and 

WHEREAS, the laws banning transgender youth from participating in sports (many suspiciously named the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act”) deny the existence of nonbinary and intersex persons; define sex “based solely on an individual's reproductive organs, biology or genetics at birth”; disregard the association of gene expression and endocrinology with sex, solely for the purpose of excluding transgender and nonbinary youth from interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams that are sponsored by a public primary or high school or a public institution of higher learning; and

WHEREAS, 261 major U.S. companies have joined in opposing anti-LGBTQIA+ state legislation,[6] including the current torrent of bills targeting transgender youth, and the “NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports”[7]; and

WHEREAS, the development, education and healthy maturation of all children are better supported by a system of inclusion rather than exclusion:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will condemn the rash of these harmful and mean-spirited attacks on transgender and nonbinary youth, condemn the legislators and governors who use children as a wedge issue, and condemn those who wrote and/or signed on to these bills; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will encourage the legislators who genuinely care about all women and girls to find ways to address gender-based disparities in recognition and support for interscholastic and intercollegiate sports, and the enormous divide between the compensation for women and for men in professional sports; and 

RESOLVED, that the AFT will support nondiscrimination policies for transgender and gender-expansive students, and declare: “Let them play!”



[2] “2021 Set a Record for Anti-Transgender Bills.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, Dec. 30, 2021, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/2021-set-a-record-for-anti-transgender-bills-heres-how-you-can-support-the-community.

[3] “Bans on Transgender Youth Participation in Sports.” Movement Advancement Projecthttps://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/sports_participation_bans.

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National suicide statistics. 2016.

[5] Toomey, Russell B., Syvertsen, Amy K., and Shramko, Maura. Pediatrics October 2018, 142 (4) e20174218; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-4218

[6] “Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation.” Freedom for All Americans, May 24, 2022, https://freedomforallamericans.org/business-statement-on-anti-lgbtq-state-legislation/.

 

(2022)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.