Lawmakers in Texas have introduced legislation to protect females from having to compete in sports against biological men.
The bill would preserve “single-sex” sports that reserve women sports for biological women.
The Texas Tribune reported on the development:
One bill filed by Rep. Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, is similar to others filed across the country that are characterized by conservative advocates as trying to maintain fairness in women’s sports. Idaho passed a law last year called the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.’ In Montana, a similar bill, called the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act,’ advanced to the state Senate this week.
According to a tally from the American Civil Liberties Union, nine other states have similar bills moving through the legislative process this year, including Mississippi, Connecticut and Tennessee. According to Equality Texas, more states are also filing bills this year that would apply these policies to colleges as well.
The University Interscholastic League of Texas, which governs high school athletics and extracurricular activities, relies on students’ birth certificates to determine whether they participate in men’s or women’s athletics. Notably, the UIL will recognize changes made to birth certificates to alter their gender marker.
The Tribune reported that most Texas universities follow NCAA rules, which allow the student to compete in sports not just according to their biological sex, but their “gender identity.”
“LGBTQ advocates said conservatives across the country are latching onto issues related to athletics and health care as the latest way to spread fear about transgender children using inaccurate information, despite opposition from medical and athletic associations,” the Tribune reported, citing failed earlier legislation to make bathrooms designated for people based on their biological sex.
“This is bathroom bill 3.0,” Angela Hale, senior adviser at Equality Texas, said in the Tribune report. “It’s very unsettling to transgender children who just want to live. They don’t want to have to come down to the Capitol and testify every single legislative session just so that they can live and go about their daily lives.”
GOP lawmakers in Texas also filed a bill to protect minors from taking life-altering medications, such as puberty-blocking treatments and surgery.
A Senate bill, filed by Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, would prevent transgender girls in public schools and charters from playing on a girls sports team.
“This is purely 100 percent devoted to the preservation of Title IX and allowing women to compete against women in their peer groups in that biological category, so they know they can have an equal and fighting chance based on ability and not over some political narrative of the day that undermines fairness,” Perry said.