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A view of the Alabama State Capitol in May 2019. Photo: Julie Bennett/Getty Image

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Friday signed a law passed by the Republican-held state legislature banning transgender youth from participating in school sports teams inconsistent with their sex assigned at birth, according to AP.

Why it matters: Alabama was among a number of states considering measures aimed at limiting transgender students' participation in athletics and targeting transgender youth broadly, Axios' Orion Rummler reports.

Details: The Alabama law says public K-12 schools “may never allow a biological male to participate on a female team," AP writes, citing an email announcement from Ivey's office.

  • Proponents of the bill say transgender girls have a biological advantage over their opponents in competition.
  • Meanwhile, opponents argue the bill discriminates against children and violates federal law barring sex discrimination in education, according to AP.

What they're saying: "By signing this legislation, Gov. Ivey is forcefully excluding transgender children," Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.

  • "Let’s be clear here: transgender children are children. They deserve the same opportunity to learn valuable skills of teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy competition with their peers.”
  • Republican state Sen. Garlan Gudger said during debate on the bill last week that it "is unfair for biological males to compete and beat females in high school sports. There are biological advantages that men possess just naturally because of genetics," according to AP.

The big picture: HRC said there are currently more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the U.S.

  • Of those, at least 66 would ban transgender people from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.
  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) vetoed a bill earlier this week that would have banned transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) recently vetoed a similar bill.

Go deeper

Interest in Arizona voucher system surges among parents against mask mandates

An employee wearing a protective mask distributes laptop computers to students at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Greg Ducey is offering $7,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds to parents whose children's school requires them to wear masks, KJZZ reports.

Driving the news: Interest in the program, which enables parents to use the funds to send their child to a different private school, has surged since applications opened in August, per the National Public Radio member station in Phoenix.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.