A bill has been introduced to ban the teaching of nine "divisive concepts." These concepts include that the United States of America is fundamentally racist and that members of any race should feel "anguish, guilt, or any other form of psychological distress for actions committed in the past by other individuals of the same race."
The bill would also allow the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), the state's high school athletics governing body, to decide whether to bar transgender students from playing on sports teams matching their gender identities.
While it's unclear how the GHSA might eventually decide on the issue, Republican state House Speaker David Ralston denied that the bill outright banned trans youth from playing sports. However, Democrats disagree.
"This bill targets the most vulnerable Georgians, transgender youth," said gay Democratic state Representative Matthew Wilson. "It sets us up to be on the wrong side of history and morality and the wrong end of litigation."
Democratic House Leader James Beverly said the bill would "target trans kids, ban kids from playing sports, and attack teachers at the same time," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The bill passed the statehouse in a 98-71 vote and the Senate in a 32-21 vote along party lines. Kemp will likely sign the bill as he's facing a contentious primary for re-election.
Kemp will face five Republican challengers — including David Perdue, the failed 2020 U.S. Senate candidate who is now backed by Donald Trump — as Trump and other Republicans criticized Kemp for refusing to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The bill resembles bans passed by 15 other states banning the teaching of the history of racism in the U.S. in schools and bans passed by 14 other states prohibiting transgender athletes from playing sports. As of 2021, 42 U.S. states have passed laws to ban racism from classrooms, and 37 U.S. states have banned transgender athletes from playing sports.