New bill to require Tennessee students to play sports as gender identified at birth

WATCH: New bill to require Tennessee students to play sports as gender identified at birth

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s a new year, which means lawmakers are busy pushing for new laws that will affect you.

One controversial bill is House Bill 15-72, or the Girls Athletic Protection Act.

This bill would require Tennessee students in public elementary and secondary schools to play sports based on their gender assigned at birth – NOT on what they currently identify with.

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The republican state representative who’s sponsoring this bill said females are at a disadvantage thanks to transgender athletes.

In December, State Representative Bruce Griffey proposed the Girls Athletic Protection Act – or the GAP act.

“Yeah I think it’s an appropriate bill. I think saying you play based on your birth certificate is a good thing,” said Cameron Sexton, the speaker of the Tennessee house.

Sexton was in Collierville meeting with local leaders.

“I think it’s a relatively new issue I think 20 years ago or 30 tears ago when I was in high school it wasn’t an issue. And so its becoming a type of an issue. Rep Griffey has filed the legislation and I’m in support of it,” Sexton told FOX13.

FOX13 reached out to representative Griffey. He said over the phone that the bill isn’t meant to be any kind of attack on the LGBTQ community, but that it’s supposed to “protect biological girls who want to compete against other biological girls in sports.”

“It’s to maintain fairness in competition. I don’t know that it’s a huge problem in Tennessee right now, but I want to be proactive so we don’t have a bunch of controversy down the road,” Griffey said. “I want, if an issue comes up or a lawsuit is filed, I want a judge to say, ‘here’s the policy for the state of Tennessee.’”