Texas passes a law that discriminates against trans student-athletes
Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott, in his quest to turn the state into actual Gilead, has just signed a bill that would ban transgender girls from female sports teams in public schools. Now Texas joins a growing list of Republican-led states passing hate-based bills that discriminate against transgender youth.
It requires students to compete in athletics based on biological sex, meaning transgender athletes will be forced to compete on a team that may differ from their gender identity.
The bill will go into effect this January and supporters of the bill claim that it will promote “fairness” in school sports for cisgender female athletes. Equal rights advocates say these “hate”-based measures only exist to cater to “hard-core social conservatives,” as Reuters put it, as there is “little evidence that trans women or girls are dominating sports.” Actually, as Kristen Mae writes for Scary Mommy, “Trans women have been allowed to compete in the Olympics since 2004, and not a single trans woman has ever even qualified, let alone won.” The pearl-clutching and hand-wringing over the so-called “unfair advantages” of trans athletes is a non-issue and bills like this one only highlight how bigoted social conservatives are and continue to become.
Texas now joins the seven other red states with similar laws, because if there’s one thing Republicans love, it’s claiming to be against government overreach while doing everything in their power to control all women’s bodies. Unfortunately, this Republican-led national campaign which started in March 2020 in Idaho will likely spread to other states.
The only upside is that a number of states that passed anti-transgender sports bans are being blocked by federal courts.
The Trevor Project, which works to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth, says they are already working to challenge the new bill in Texas as well.
Additionally, although this Texas sports ban only applies to school-aged athletes, other states have passed bills that ban trans women from competing in college sports as well, so the NCAA said it would only hold NCAA championships at “locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”
Texas has the most anti-trans bills in the country.
As of September 2021, PBS reported that Governor Abbott had 40 active anti-trans bills in circulation (though only the sports ban has passed), including one that would allow doctors or parents who allow transgender minors to take hormones or surgeries to affirm their gender to be charged with child abuse.
Add this to the fact that this news is just the latest in a slew of horrifying right-wing bills to pass in Texas, including the barbaric abortion ban and the state recently doing away with the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and Texas really is on its way to Gilead.