Trans kids in Alabama are officially banned from playing sports that don’t correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth

Trans protest
A protest to support trans people in 2017 in New York City.

  • A new bill passed Friday bans trans youth in Alabama from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.
  • The new ban applies to all sports teams across Alabama’s public schools.
  • The bill is the latest amid a surge of anti-trans bills being considered in state legislatures this year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed a bill into law that effectively bans trans kids from participating in school sports that match their gender identity.

The bill mandates that trans youth attending public schools in Alabama only play on sports teams that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.

“A public K-12 school may not allow a biological female to participate on a male team if there is a female team in a sport,” the text of Alabama House Bill 391 reads. “A public K-12 school may never allow a biological male to participate on a female team.”

The bill says “biological males” have distinct advantages over “biological females” when it comes to sports and claims to be acting in a way that “promotes sex equality.” Cisgender girls would have difficulty competing “on a fair playing field for scholarships and other athletic accomplishments,” the bill says.

Human-rights groups have repeatedly debunked the idea that including trans athletes on sports teams hurts cisgender people.

The ACLU, for example, says the myth “reinforces stereotypes that women are weak and in need of protection.”

“HB 391 is nothing more than a politically motivated bill designed to discriminate against an already vulnerable population. By signing this legislation, Gov. Ivey is forcefully excluding transgender children,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement.

“They deserve the same opportunity to learn valuable skills of teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy competition with their peers,” David’s statement continued. “Simply put, Alabamans deserve better than lawmakers who legislate against the health and safety of all kids for cheap political gain.”

The Alabama bill is the latest amid a surge of anti-trans bills being considered in state legislatures across the country this year. Insider previously reported that 28 states are voting on anti-trans legislation in 2021.

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Virginia is the first southern state to ban the ‘trans panic’ defense that previously gave lighter sentences to assailants claiming to react to someone’s gender identity

AP ralph northam
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

  • Virginia passed a bill nullifying the “gay/trans panic defense” on Wednesday.
  • The defense has traditionally been used in murder and assault cases against LGBT victims.
  • Virginia, with Gov. Ralph Northam signing the bill, is the first southern state to ban its use.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill Wednesday invalidating the “gay/trans panic” defense, which lawyers have previously used as an excuse to secure lighter sentences for people facing homicide charges.

Prior to the bill’s passing, people accused of violent crimes could claim panic as a defense, saying they reacted to a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill nullifies that argument in murder and assault cases.

A dozen other states have already banned the defense. Virginia, with Northam signing the bill, has become the first southern state to do so.

Virginia’s state House and Senate passed the bill in February, sending it over to Northam’s office.

Democratic Delegate Danica Roem originally wrote and sponsored the Virginia bill. Roem is one of four openly trans legislators in the country.

Roem said in an interview with NBC News that she hopes other states will follow Virginia’s lead.

“I hope that as a region, the Mid-Atlantic can really tell people that you are welcome here because of who you are, and we will protect you here because of who you are,” Roem said.

Lawyers from the National LGBT Bar Association say the defense has traditionally been used in three distinct ways:

  • A defendant claims that a victim “triggered a nervous breakdown” due to that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • A defendant claims that a victim’s proposition was “sufficiently ‘provocative’ to induce the defendant to kill the victim.
  • A defendant claims that “they believed that the victim, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, was about to cause the defendant serious bodily harm. This defense is offensive and harmful because it argues that a person’s gender or sexual identity makes them more of a threat to safety,” the National LGBT Bar Association said.

Research shows that more than 1 out of 4 trans people will experience a hate crime in their lifetime.

The bill comes amid a surge of anti-trans bills being considered in state legislatures across the country this year. Insider previously reported that 28 states are voting on anti-trans legislation in 2021.

Most recently,Arkansas became the first state to pass a bill prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender youth following a Monday state Senate vote.

The bill would prohibit doctors from offering gender-confirming hormone treatment or surgery to trans minors. Doctors would also be unable to refer minors to other providers for treatment.

The legislation now goes to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk for signature. He is expected to either sign or veto the bill early next week.

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New York just became the biggest city to make LGBT-owned businesses eligible for billions in government contracts for minority entrepreneurs

FILE PHOTO: A rainbow flag waves in the wind at the Stonewall National Monument outside the Stonewall Inn, site of the1969 Stonewall uprising, considered the birth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement in Greenwich Village in New York City, New York, U.S., June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
A rainbow flag waves in the wind at the Stonewall National Monument outside the Stonewall Inn in New York.

  • New York City will officially recognize LGBT-owned businesses as part of its certification program.
  • That means that LGBT-owned business will have access to resources like mentorship and consulting, as well as the opportunity to be suppliers for government contracts.
  • Currently, the city has a 10-year goal to award $25 billion in contracts to women and minority-owned businesses, a group that now includes LGBT-owned businesses.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

LGBT-owned businesses will now be officially recognized by New York City as minority-owned businesses, qualifying them for resources like mentorship and consulting – and, significantly, as suppliers for government contracts.

In conjunction with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), New York City’s Department of Small Business Services will fast-track LGBT businesses into its certification programs

Those certification programs were already open to minority and women-owned businesses, as well as historically economically and socially disadvantaged individuals. 

The city has a 10 year goal to award $25 billion in contracts to those certified businesses by 2025. An August press release said that the city is on track to award 30% of all contracts to minority and women-owned businesses in 2021. The city awarded $964 million in contracts during the first three quarters of 2020.

Now, those opportunities will be open to majority LBGT-owned businesses certified with NGLCC

Justin Nelson, the president and cofounder of NGLCC, said New York has been a priority for the group for nearly 10 years. The group saw victories on the other side of the Hudson in Hoboken and Jersey City, but they just couldn’t get across the finish line in NYC – until today.

“This is, without a doubt, a major win for LGBT businesses, a major win for NGLCC,” he said. He added that it’s “one of the most diverse cities in the world saying, ‘You know what, yes, we want to be inclusive, not just in our policies, but in our practices.'”  

In 2019, New York City spent $96 billion; while not all of that will go to small businesses, Nelson said “there are literally billions of dollars of opportunity that have been opened up now to LGBT businesses that weren’t there yesterday.”

“Equity of access and inclusion are at the core of the work we do at SBS,” Jonnel Doris, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, said in a statement. “A diverse vendor pool makes a stronger New York City, and we are excited to maximize the inclusion of LGBTQ certified firms into the City’s certification process. We look forward to our continued partnership with the NGLCC.”

A recent survey by the NGLCC found that nearly 59% of LGBT businesses fear shutting down due to COVID if they don’t receive any additional funds, according to Nelson. 

Marti Cummings, a gig worker and drag artist who is running for New York City Council, told Insider that “any opportunity to help women owned businesses, BIPOC owned businesses. and LGBTQIA+ businesses is a positive.”

“To be able to welcome LGBTQIA+ businesses into this fold is really important, because our marginalized communities need a seat at the table and need their voices to be heard,” they said about the new certification program.

As a drag artist, Cummings primarily works and performs at small businesses. They said that three of the venues they used to work at have closed during the pandemic, and ensuring the futures of remaining LGBT-owned businesses is crucial. 

“We really need to put in the work to save these spaces and these institutions that are so vital to the safety of queer people,” they said. Cummings said that measures like canceling rent, mortgages, and taxing the wealthy could also provide needed relief to businesses in the short-term.

In the meantime, LGBT-owned businesses who want to take advantage of the new program need to be certified with the NGLCC (or get certification), and register with the small business services (SBS) database.

“I love local business. I just think it is the heartbeat of our city,” Cummings said. “And we have such a long road of recovery ahead from this pandemic, but if we all work together as a community block by block, we will get through this. We have to keep holding on. We have to keep fighting for our city, state, and federal government to do the work, to help the people who are suffering, because they work for us.”

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