Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs bill banning transgender girls from participating in female sports in schools

The two-term Republican governor is facing a primary challenge from the right.

10/26/2021 9:59:00 PM

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs bill banning transgender girls from participating in female sports in schools

The two-term Republican governor is facing a primary challenge from the right.

Share this storyTexas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has signed into law a bill that bans transgender girls from participating in female sports in public schools, a measure that goes further than current rules in the state that already limited some transgender students from participating in classes of sports aligned with their gender identity.

ArrowRightUnder House Bill 25, which will go into effect Jan. 18, student-athletes will be allowed to participate in interscholastic athletic competitions only as part of teams that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates at or near the time of their birth. Modified birth certificates may be referred to only if they were edited to correct clerical errors, not if an individual legally changed sex on the document.

Competitive school-level sports in Texas are overseen by the University Interscholastic League, which stipulates that students participate on teams in accordance with the gender listed on their birth certificates. The UIL, however, accepts legally modified birth certificates that individuals have changed to accurately reflect their gender identity. The new state law, which Abbott signed Monday, is expected to override this and be adopted by the UIL. headtopics.com

AdvertisementStory continues below advertisementState Rep. Valoree Swanson (R), who introduced the bill, has argued that the ban is needed to promote fairness in school sports by ensuring that sufficient athletic opportunities remain available for girls.

“It’s so very, very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years,” Swanson said during a hearing,according to the Texas Tribune. Swanson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Mary Emily O’Hara, a spokesperson for GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy organization, said bills limiting which sports transgender students can participate in are the “latest angle to attack LGBTQ rights.” O’Hara said the groups behind these sports bills are the same that rallied behind legislation prohibiting transgender individuals from accessing bathrooms designated for their gender identities.

AdvertisementStory continues below advertisement“The sports issue is the latest creative framing — it’s a Trojan horse,” O’Hara said. “If you ask women athletes, the participation of trans women and girls is not an issue in women’s sports. The issues are pay disparity, sexual abuse and harassment, and not enough media coverage. Not enough funding. Women’s sports have real challenges, none of which have anything to do with transgender girls.”

Abbott is under pressure in his own party to move on legislative matters that cater to the state’s conservative base. The two-term governor is facing a primary challenge from Don Huffines, a conservative business owner who has criticized Abbott as not taking strong enough conservative stances on matters including headtopics.com

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