Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, on Friday signed a bill that extends a transgender high school sports ban to colleges.

House Bill 2316/Senate Bill 2153 extends a high school ban approved last year to transgender college students. The law specifically targets transgender women.

According to Axios, the bill states that colleges “must rely upon the sex listed on the student's original birth certificate issued at or near the time of birth.” The bill also allows students who believe they have been harmed by a violation of the law to sue for damages.

Supporters of such bans say they are needed to ensure fairness in women's sports. Opponents point out that backers are unable to provide evidence showing transgender athletes have an unfair advantage.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, criticized Lee's signing of the measure, noting that Tennessee is a leading state for anti-LGBTQ legislation.

“2022 is on track to surpass a record number of anti-transgender bills filed in state legislatures this year, in large part because of the efforts by Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee lawmakers who, law after law, year after year, continue their legislative assault on the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender people,” said HRC Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley. “Other governors, including Republicans, have decided to lead with compassion, but not Governor Lee. The Human Rights Campaign condemns his actions, and those of the anti-equality legislators in the state house in the strongest terms.”

HRC added that such bans deny transgender girls and women the “social, physical, and emotional benefits of sports.”