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Civil Rights advocates challenge law that bans transgender youth from school sports

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 2:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Fourteen-year-old Luc Esquivel just wants to play golf, but one Tennessee law is keeping him from being part of the team.

Esquivel is a freshman at Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he had been looking forward to trying out for the boys’ golf team.

His dreams were dashed when Tennessee lawmakers passed a law earlier this year that would ban transgender boys and girls from participating on interscholastic sports teams that match their gender.

“I was really looking forward to trying out for the boys’ golf team and, if I made it, training and competing with and learning from other boys and improving my game,” Esquivel said. “Then, to have the legislature pass a law that singled out me and kids like me to keep us from being part of a team, that crushed me, it hurt very much. I just want to play, like any other kid.”

Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties union and the ACLU of Tennessee have taken up the case and filed a lawsuit today challenging the Tennessee Law.

“When Tennessee lawmakers passed this discriminatory law, they could not identify a single instance of a Tennessee student facing any harm from a transgender athlete playing sports. However, the emotional cost of this law to transgender student athletes is tremendous,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director. “We stand with trans students across the state as we challenge this law, and we urge other trans student athletes and their families facing such discrimination to contact us.”

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