The Texas House of Representatives approved a measure prohibiting transgender women and girls from participating in school sports.
Reuters reports that the bill is almost guaranteed to be signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott after three unsuccessful efforts. Texas is set to join seven other states that have passed similar legislation this year with the bill. Republican lawmakers have filed legislation in 32 states that aim to make it illegal for transgender women and girls to participate in female sports teams.
While conservatives hope to maintain integrity in sports and protect fair competition, equal rights activists have criticized the bills as a discriminatory attack on transgender people and claim that there is no evidence that transgender women and girls are dominating sports. Political science professor at Rice University in Houston said, “There’s no evidence that there’s a problem. This is red meat for the base.”
Director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas, James Henson, stated, “Like a lot of other things in Texas politics right now, this is selling mainly to very ideologically driven voters in the Republican Party. These are the voters that show up for Republican primaries.”
Three prior House versions of the bill languished in the public education committee, which a Democrat chairs. The law was subsequently rewritten by Republicans and pushed through a select committee controlled by them, allowing it to pass the entire House on Thursday evening. The bill has been sent back to the Senate for procedural approval, and Gov. Abbott is likely to sign it.
Other states to pass similar legislation on transgender sports include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has also signed an executive order supporting a ban on transgender athletes in sports.
Last year, a federal court in Idaho halted similar legislation, and in July, a federal court in West Virginia decided that an 11-year-old trans girl must be allowed to try out for the girls’ track and cross-country teams at her school, despite a similar statute approved in April.
This year, Texas Republicans approved a productive conservative agenda that included new voter integrity laws, nearly banning abortion with the heartbeat bill, and eliminating the requirement for a license to carry a concealed firearm.
Conversely, the push to indoctrinate children into the transgender lifestyle continues as California requires big box stores to create ‘genderless’ toy aisles, San Francisco mayor London Breed dedicates another month to transgender people, and Gov. Newsom signs a bill effectively allowing children to undergo gender surgeries and obtain abortions without their parents’ knowledge.
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