Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Monday a bill that would ban transgender athletes from playing on public school sports teams that match their gender identities. The law, which separates students athletes by assigned sex at birth, explicitly targets transgender youth from elementary school to the university level. It is the first such legislation that has passed; Texas, according to the 19th News, has attempted this move over 40 times before now.
A lead state House sponsor of the bill, Rep. Valoree Swanson, said the measure is “all about girls and protecting them.” (Republicans, notably, have yet to produce evidence proving trans athletes hold an unfair advantage over their cisgender teammates.) A White House spokesperson last week called the bill “hateful” and said it was “nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation,” according to Axios. The chief executive of LGBTQ+ nonprofit Equality Texas said his organization was “heartbroken.” Texas is the 10th state—and the largest—to enact legislation limiting trans participation in sports.