MONTGOMERY (AP) — A proposal to ban transgender students from playing on sports teams of the gender they identify with drew criticism during a Thursday public hearing.

The bill titled the Gender Is Real Legislative Act, or GIRL Act, would require student athletes to compete under “the gender assigned at their birth," Republican Rep. Chris Pringle, the bill's author, said. The bill would ban K-12 schools from allowing trans athletes to compete under their gender identity unless the event was co-ed.

Pringle said it's unfair for girls to compete against athletes “born and raised with the benefit of testosterone in their system."

A public hearing on the bill drew only opponents.

Carmarion D. Anderson, Alabama state director of the Human Rights Campaign, said the bill discriminates against transgender individuals. Anderson said a small percentage of people identify as transgender and “not all of them are interested in playing sports and even fewer of them are elite level."

“There is simply no data to back up the concerns that this bill claims to have," Anderson said.

The House State Government Committee did not vote on the bill Thursday. The committee is expected to vote at a later time.

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