Abbott To Sign Bill Banning Transgenders In School Sports

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A transgender pride flag during a rally in New York
A transgender pride flag during a rally in New York AFP / ANGELA WEISS

A Texas bill that would ban transgender students from participating in their changed-gender sports team is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature after getting passed by the House and Senate last week.

The bill is on its fourth attempt to be passed by Texas Republicans. Transgender youth would only be able to participate in sports that align with their gender of their birth certificate.

The bill was introduced by State Rep. Valoree Swanson, a Republican who represents a district that includes parts of Harris County, the third-most populated county in the nation. 

"This is all about girls and protecting them in our [University Interscholastic League] sports," Swanson said in support of her bill, according to CBS News. "I'm excited that we have the opportunity today to stand up for our daughters, granddaughters, and all our Texas girls."

The Senate voted 19-12 on Friday to pass the bill, and on Sunday the House voted to concur.

The bill would overrule the University Interscholastic League, which currently handles these specific cases involving interscholastic competition. It has previously allowed transgender students to play on teams with modified birth certificates.

Abbot has made it clear that he supports such a bill. At a Fox News town hall interview in April, he said that “the Texas Legislature is working on a bill to codify that, which I will sign.” 

Although, LGBTQ activists see the bill as an attempt by Republicans to seem as if they are “doing something” while other issues are not going as planned.

“They’ve got a failed electrical grid and a Covid crisis, but they’re gerrymandering and attacking trans kids and reproductive rights,” Kate Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBTQ advocacy organization told NBC News.

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