Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Bill Restricting Transgender Student Athletes in School Sports into Law

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill on Oct. 25 that restricts transgender student athletes in the state from playing on public school sports teams that align with their gender identities.

Under House Bill 25, student athletes, who compete in interscholastic competitions, will be required to play on sports teams that correspond with the biological sex listed on their birth certificate at or near the time of their birth.

The legislation takes away the option of obtaining court orders to change the student athletes’ gender markers in their birth certificates.

Representative Valoree Swanson, who authored the bill, said that she was “overjoyed” the bill will was signed into law, according to The Texas Tribune.

The legislation will take effect on Jan. 18, 2022.

LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups slammed the legislation as discriminatory and said that it did not have any evidence on transgender athletes’ competing unfairly in women’s sports.

“This is a dark and frightening day for thousands of families in Texas who fear for the safety and future of their transgender children… Transgender kids, just like any kid, simply want to play sports with their friends. They are being denied that chance by legislators whose arguments are not backed up by evidence, educators, medical consensus, or science,” Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Texas State Director Rebecca Marques said in a statement.

Marques further said that HRC “will use every tool in the toolkit to stop this law from taking effect and fighting to repeal this and every anti-transgender bill in the country.”

According to HRC, the signing of the bill makes Texas the state with the largest LGBTQIA+ population and the largest economy to enact such legislation.

Texas also became the tenth state to enact an anti-transgender sports ban legislation.

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