If human decency won’t stop Kentucky lawmakers for enacting a ban on trans girls and women from playing the sport that corresponds with their gender identity, maybe corporate pressure will.
Brown-Forman, Amazon and over 150 other major companies have signed a letter calling for state lawmakers to drop their anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, including anti-trans sports bans.
The businesses say that anti LGBTQ+ bills could harm their current employees and recruitment efforts and could influence their decision on where to “invest and grow.”
Despite the letter, Kentucky’s sports bill passed out of a House committee on Thursday. It now awaits a full House vote.
One Republican did vote no, however, saying he was concerned about Kentucky losing out on economic development projects from big businesses.
“This reflects poorly on the state of Kentucky,” said Rep. Killian Timoney from Lexington.
Timoney said that he has worked on bid packages where legislation like Kentucky’s anti-trans sports bill have been a question that companies have asked about.
Kentucky’s bill would ban trans girls and women from competing in women’s sports from sixth grade up until college.
In its first appearance before a Senate committee, a trans eighth-grader, Fischer Wells, testified about how the bill would harm her.
“I really don’t want this bill to pass, because I really want to play and it will be extremely detrimental to my mental health, as well, because, I know sports is a great way for me to cope with things,” she said.
Wells spearheaded getting the minimum number of players together to form a girls field hockey team at her school.