Texas House Passes Bill Limiting Public School Athletes To Teams That Match Their Birth Sex
After more than 10 hours of debate, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday evening requiring transgender athletes in public schools to compete on teams that match their birth sex, not the gender they were born into. identify. The controversial bill, which passed by 76 votes to 54, is now going to the state Senate.
Introduced by Representative Valoree Swanson, the measure restricts athletes from playing on teams that match the biological sex shown on an official birth certificate issued at or around the time of the student’s birth. An amended birth certificate would only be accepted if it had been amended “to correct a clerical error,” the bill says.
Male transgender athletes would only be allowed to play on men’s teams if there were no other options available for the sport.
Supporters of the bill claimed Thursday that transgender women would have an unfair competitive advantage over athletes who were biologically female at birth.
Swanson said the bill was inspired by discrimination against organic female athletes. She highlighted what she said was an increase in demands on the state University Interschool League to take action on this discrimination.
“It’s about girls and protecting our UIL sports,” Swanson said. “I am delighted that we have the opportunity today to stand up for our daughters, our granddaughters and all of our daughters in Texas.”
Critics called the legislation an “immoral and hateful bill” that attacks transgender people, and rebuffed claims of an increase in UIL’s demands for action, saying there had been no complaint.
“How can you say girls are unfairly positioned competing in the state of Texas to justify this bill (when) there hasn’t been a single complaint” to UIL about transgender athletes in competition, ”asked Representative Julie Johnson.
“This bill is petty, inherently discriminatory and harms the children of Texas,” said State Representative John Bucy III.
The Texas ACLU was quick to weigh in:
State Representative Erin Zwiener, who also spoke out against the bill, said on Thursday that efforts to “protect transgender children” were underway.