Visualizing Trends

We're seeing trends emerge in federal and state bills proposed in the United States. Word clouds are a good tool for visualizing trends discovered in text. Words in large font represent key topics appearing in proposed legislation.

2021 Trend:
Banning Transgender Athletes

As of August 15, 2021
8 States ban transgender athletes
7 States have proposed bans
19 States failed to ban transgender athletes
3 States empower transgender athletes

New Laws Banning Some Transgender Athletes

  1. Alabama HB391 was signed into law on April 23, 2021

  2. Arkansas signed two bills into law on March 25, 2021:
    SB354 became Act 461
    SB450 became Act 953

  3. Idaho's Fairness in Women’s Sports Act was:
    - Signed into law on March 30, 2020

    - Enjoined by Idaho Federal District Court on August 17, 2020 who found that this Act discriminated against some transgender athletes.

    - Appealed before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 3, 2021 and the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief with the 9th Circuit defending the ban. Justices of the Ninth Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals reviewed the constitutionality of Idaho's Fairness in Women’s Sports Act on Monday, May 3, 2021 in Pasadena, California. The case being reviewed is called Lindsay Hecox v. Bradley Little. Lindsay Hecox is a transgender woman and an athlete and Bradley Little is the Governor of Idaho. The law being reviewed is Idaho Code §§ 33-6201 through -6206, which excludes transgender women from participating on women’s sports teams. The case number is 20-35813.

    On June 24, 2021, Hecox v. Little was remanded to the district court to for the limited purpose of determining whether Ms. Hecox's claim is moot because she has withdrawn from the University. Attorneys for both sides have been asking for additional time to research and to prepare documents requested by the district court.

  4. Mississippi Fairness Act (SB2536) was signed into law on March 11, 2021

  5. Montana HB112 was signed into law on May 7, 2021

  6. South Dakota HB1217 was vetoed on March 29, 2021 but the Governor issued two executive orders:
    - Protecting Girls' Sports in High School Order #: 2021-05 filed on March 29, 2021
    - Protecting Womens' Sports in College Order #: 2021-06 filed on March 29, 2021

  7. Tennessee HB0003/SB0228 was signed into law on March 26, 2021 and became Tennessee Pub. Ch. 40

  8. West Virginia HB3293 was signed into law on April 28, 2021
    West Virginia SB341, HB2676, HB2734, HB2917 defined penalities for breaking this law
Note: many of these bills cited United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996)

Bills In-progress to Ban Transgender Athletes

  1. Iowa - In January 2021, three republicans introduced then withdrew HB184. A similar bill, HB334, was introduced dead on February 2, 2021; however, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has vowed to sign a bill banning transgender youth from girls sports

  2. Michigan SB0218 was introduced March 10, 2021

  3. North Carolina Save Womens Sports Act (H358) is in progress

  4. Ohio Save Womens Sports Act (HB61/SB132) are in progress

  5. Pennsylvania HB972 Fairness in Womens Sports Act was introduced on April 5, 2021

  6. South Carolina HB4153 and HB3477 were set aside on March 16, 2021 by the House Judiciary Committee. However, Governor McMaster has vowed to sign a bill banning transgender youth from girls sports and House members have signed up to support such a bill. The last action was March 24, 2021 On November 17, 2021, the Save Women's Sports Act (SC H4608) was referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

  7. Wisconsin SB322/SB323 were introduced April 22, 2021 to amend statutes relating participation in college sports based on the sex of the participants. A few months later Wisconsin introduced two bills regarding gender identity and sexual orientation programs in public schools. Both bills require permission from a parent or guardian before a student can participate in gender-specific school sports. House Bill AB562 was introduced September 27, 2021 and Senate Bill SB598 on October 8, 2021.

Empowering Transgender Athletes

  1. California SR40 applies Title IX to everyone regardless of gender expression: WHEREAS, The educational equity guaranteed in Title IX does not solely apply to women. It protects everyone from sex-based discrimination, regardless of real or perceived sex, gender identity, or gender expression

  2. Bills Aiming to Educate Coaches about LGBTQ+ Students

  3. New Jersey NJ A1904 directs the Commissioner of Education to develop sensitivity training program for high school athletic directors and coaches

  4. New York NY S01929 requires school districts to educate students about LGBTQ+ history and contributions to society

Failed Attempts to Ban Transgender Athletes

  1. Arizona Save Womens Sports Act (HB2706) passed in the House then died in the Senate on May 8, 2020

  2. Connecticut Court case: on April 25, 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny decided there was no case because the two transgender athletes involved had graduated and the plaintiffs were not able to identify any other female transgender athletes. Soule v. Conn. Assoc of Sch., Case No. 3:20-cv-00201 (RNC) (D. Conn. Apr. 25, 2021)

  3. Florida Governor DeSantis announced he would sign a Fairness in Womens Sports Act. However, it appears that HB1475/S2012 died in the rules committee on April 30, 2021.

  4. Georgia Save Girls Sports Act SB266 was introduced dead on March 5, 2021 and HB372 was introduced dead on February 11, 2021

  5. Hawaii HB1304 is based on studies showing that even with testosterone suppression and cross-hormone therapy, transgender women did not have a significant decrease in muscle mass. Therefore, biologically born males may not compete in athletic programs offered to public high school women or girls. Died in committee.

  6. Kansas SB55 was vetoed on May 3 2021 and the veto was sustained

  7. Kentucky SB106 died in committee on February 4, 2021

  8. Louisana Fairness in Womens Sports Acts (HB542/SB156) vetoed by Governor The Senate overruled the veto but the House failed to overrule the veto.

  9. Maine LD926, an act To ban biological males from participating in womens sports, died in the Senate

  10. Missouri Save Womens Sports Act (SB503) was introduced February 11, 2021 and died in committee on March 4, 2021

  11. Minnesota HF1657 creates criminal penalties for males participating in female athletics
    HF350, HF352, and SF96 restrict participation based on sex assigned at birth
    Died in committee on March 8, 2021

  12. New Hampshire HB1251, a bill about transgender women participating in school sports programs failed

  13. New Mexico Womens Sports Protection Act was introduced on February 18, 2021 then died in committee

  14. North Dakota HB 1298 was vetoed on April 22 2021 and the veto was sustained. North Dakota 1476 was withdrawn from further consideration.

  15. Oklahoma SB2 passed the House and the Senate but was dead as of May 24, 2021

  16. Rhode Island Fairness in Womens Sports Act (S0638) was introduced - dead on March 18, 2021

  17. Texas SB29 was voted down in the House committee on May 4, 2021. Lawmakers approved HB4042, a substitute bill, but it was left pending in committee on April 20, 2021. Engrossed - dead on May 25, 2021

  18. Utah HB302 stalled in the Senate on March 5, 2021 and a new version of the bill was introduced that would allow transgender youth to play on girls teams except when competing with teams from other schools. Failed on March 5, 2021.

  19. Washington HB1556 was introduced - dead on March 18, 2021

Additional References:
Freedom for All Americans, BillTrack50 with credit to Connie Hanzhang Jin