Texas lawmaker files bill to keep trans athletes out of women's sports after Biden's 'anti-discrimination' order
The executive order says 'children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports'
Lawmakers in Texas have reportedly introduced legislation to protect 'females' from having to compete in sports against transgender women. According to the Texas Tribune, the bill seeks to preserve 'single-sex' sports that would ensure women's sports are 'exclusive' to 'cis females'. This comes in response to President Joe Biden's "anti-discrimination" executive order that some believe discriminates against cis females.
The bill filed by state Rep Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, is one of several similar bills introduced across the country by conservative advocates in their bid to maintain 'fairness' in women's sports. Last year, Idaho passed a law called the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.’ Meanwhile, a similar bill in Montana called the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act' proceeded to the state Senate earlier this week, according to the Tribune.
Nine other states have led similar bills through the legislative process, according to a tally from the American Civil Liberties Union. These include Mississippi, Connecticut, and Tennessee. Several other states are also filing bills to apply similar policies to colleges as well, according to Equality Texas. According to Breitbart News, the University Interscholastic League of Texas relies on students’ birth certificates to determine whether they can participate in men’s or women’s athletics. However, the UIL has said it will recognize changes made to the gender marker on their birth certificates.
Most Texas universities follow NCAA rules, according to the Tribune. These allow the student to compete in sports not just according to their 'assigned at birth' sex, but their gender identity as well. According to the outlet, LGBTQ advocates have claimed that conservatives are attempting to "spread fear about transgender children using inaccurate information, despite opposition from medical and athletic associations." The report cited failed earlier legislation that sought to ensure that bathrooms were designated for people based on their 'assigned' sex.
“This is bathroom bill 3.0,” Angela Hale, senior adviser at Equality Texas, told the Tribune. “It’s very unsettling to transgender children who just want to live. They don’t want to have to come down to the Capitol and testify every single legislative session just so that they can live and go about their daily lives.” Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Texas have also introduced a bill to protect minors from taking life-altering medications, including puberty-blocking treatments and surgery. Meanwhile, a Senate bill filed by Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, aims to prevent transgender girls in public schools and charters from being part of a girls sports team.
“This is purely 100 percent devoted to the preservation of Title IX and allowing women to compete against women in their peer groups in that biological category, so they know they can have an equal and fighting chance based on ability and not over some political narrative of the day that undermines fairness,” Perry said.
Biden’s presidential tenure kicked off on Wednesday, January 20, and just hours after assuming the office, he signed an anti-discrimination executive order that many have said would force schools to include transgender athletes in girls’ sports and eventually 'discriminate against girls'. The order, called Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, said, “children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports." It also added that the Biden administration will work towards preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of “gender identity or sexual orientation”.
“Allowing males to enter our sports isn’t fair,” Madison Kenyon, a cross-country runner at Idaho recently told AP. “It changes everything because it eliminates the connection between an athlete's effort and her success. Idaho’s law helps make sure that, when women like me work hard, that hard work pays off, and we have a shot at winning.”