ATLANTA - Some organizations against the Georgia transgender sports ban bill are expressing disappointment with its rushed approval during the end of the 2022 legislative session.
"Any legislation that impacts the lives of kids should not be rushed," said Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality.
He said lawmakers did not haver the time to properly look over the bill before the vote late Monday night.
"The challenge with this is that no one really had an opportunity to review the language, so we don't know how expansive or not what passed late last night truly is," Graham said.
The bill gives the Georgia High School Association the authority to ban transgender girls from playing against girls.
Lawmakers in favor of the bill said this is a compromise, since the decision is not being made by lawmakers.
They also said it's needed to level the playing field.
"This is about participating in extracurricular activities with their friends. At the end of the day, that's what this is about. This is not about elite athletic competition, which frankly are already heavily regulated and all of those regulations facilitate the inclusion of transgender athletes," Graham said.
According to Graham, data from a suicide prevention non-profit called the Trevor Project proves legislation like this is harmful to children's mental health. He said it's especially damaging to transgender children, who may already be more vulnerable.
"In states where similar legislation has been debated, much less passed, 87 percent of kids reported that this had a negative impact on their mental health. Their self-esteem, depression, fear, anxiety," Graham said.
At least 10 other states have passed similar legislation and several other states are considering similar bills and several others are considering similar ones.