House Bill 25 was approved by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The law effectively bans biological males from competing in girls and women’s sports in public schools by requiring student athlete to compete as their sex assigned at birth.
It will take effect on January 18, 2022. Proponents of the bill claim that it will eliminate an unfair advantage for transgender women born as biological males, over those who were biological females.
RELATED: Mississippi Just Passed Legislation Banning Biological Males From Competing In Women’s Sports
Texas House Bill 25: What It Means
House Bill 25, written by State Rep. Valoree Swanson R-Spring, requires that, “student athletes who compete in interscholastic competition to play on sports teams that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate at or near their time of birth.”
Because Texas lawmakers faced an unusual challenge, unlike other states with similar laws, the language was so specific.
The University Interscholastic League governs its school sports. UIL regulations require schools to accept not only the genders listed on student athletes’ birth certificates, but legally amended birth certificates which reflect the student’s current gender identity.
Texas lawmakers made it clear in their legislation which type of birth certificate was being used.
State Rep. Swanson said she was “overjoyed” that Abbott signed the bill.
Her argument was that Title IX would not be violated, a federal law which prohibits discrimination in education due to sex.
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Swanson added, “It’s so very, very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years.”
The ACLU of Texas last week called passage of the bill “wrong,” and is reviewing language in House Bill 25 to assess “possible next steps.”
RELATED: Rand Paul Says Allowing Transgender Student Athletes To Compete Will ‘Destroy Girls Sports’
Texas Joins Growing List Of States
Texas is not the only state that has acted on transgender athletes’ rights in sport. Idaho adopted a similar bill and took the initiative in March 2020.
Similar laws have been in place since then in Alabama, Arkansas and Florida as well as Tennessee, West Virginia, Montana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Montana.
South Dakota Governor. Kristi Noem issued two executive orders to restrict participation in sport according to the sex at birth.
In June, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said this about transgender athletes playing on teams with biological females when he signed a bill into law protecting women’s sports,
“In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports, and boys are going to play boys’ sports. The bill that we’re doing today will ensure fairness for women athletes for years to come in the state of Florida. It says that athletic teams or sports that are designated for females are open to females, and we’re going to go based off biology, not based off ideology, when we’re doing sports. The bill defines a student’s biological sex based on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.”
DeSantis added an extra element in Florida. Florida law gives students the right to sue for discrimination if schools allow transgender women or girls to compete in a team that is intended for biologically females.
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‘Fighting For Fairness In Women’s Sports’
The movement to protect women’s sports began in earnest back in February of 2020 when Connecticut high school athlete Selina Soule and two other female track athletes filed a lawsuit against the Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s transgender policy.
Soule, who made an appearance on Fox News Channel this past year, shared how during her high school athletic career she was forced compete with biological men because they were transgender and competing on teams for biological women.
She described the experience as a, “very frustrating and demoralizing experience.” She added that she was forced to compete with people who she said she, “never be able to beat” because of biological physical advantages.
Soule said that she missed qualifying for the New England regional meet in 2019 because of being beaten by two biological men.
She claims that if she hadn’t competed on the female team, she could have qualified.
“We are fighting for fairness in women’s sports,” Soule declared.
While more states enact measures on the issue, it is curious that women’s rights advocates remain silent on the topic of protecting the rights of female athletes to compete on an even playing field.
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