The Texas Senate voted Friday night to pass a bill restricting trans teens’ participation in school sports. House Bill 25, which will now be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signing, sets into law that children may not play on teams that align with their gender identity, but must rather correspond to the gender assigned to them at or near birth.
Republican State Senator Charles Perry, a supporter of the bill, said: “A lot of times we say bills are transformational. This is actually one that drew the line in the sand: that biological females should stay with biological females and biological males should stay with biological males.” Democrat Rep. Jon Rosenthal described it as “a non-issue, a made-up issue…fabricated. There's no documented evidence in the state of Texas where a (transgender child) has ever taken away a scholarship or even a starting place on a team of any sport from a born female.”
As The Daily Beast has reported, eight states have restrictive laws on the books, or executive orders, banning trans kids from competing with cisgender classmates in school sports: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Legal challenges are underway in Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
When HB 25 passed in the Texas House, Ricardo Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, said: “Extremists in our Legislature have continuously leveraged cruel rhetoric and rampant misinformation to coordinate this attack on the transgender community—young children in particular—and have sent a clear message that Texas is not a safe place for them to live.”