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A bill that would prohibit transgender athletes from competing on college teams that match their gender identity is heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for approval.
The Senate on Friday authorized minor modifications the Residence created to Senate Bill 15 just before sending it to the governor, who has currently mentioned he would help such legislation.
On the Senate floor, Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, and Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston, clarified that the legislation only applies to intercollegiate sports among schools, not intramural sports that are additional casual and usually co-ed games. The vote was 19-12.
All through the legislative session, LGBTQ advocates have railed against the bill.
“S.B. 15 is but yet another invasive, impractical measure mandated by the Texas legislature to ‘fix’ a dilemma that does not exist,” mentioned Melodía Gutiérrez, Texas director for the Human Rights Campaign in a press release earlier this month. “Every student deserves the exact same possibilities to engage in sportsmanship, self-discipline, and teamwork, and to create a sense of belonging with their peers. We should really not discriminate against or ban any student from playing due to the fact they’re transgender.”
Senate Bill 15 needs athletes to join the college sports teams that align with their sex assigned at birth, regardless of their gender identity. It offers whistleblower protections for individuals who report violations at a university athletics plan and makes it possible for individuals to file civil lawsuits against a college or university if they think the institution has violated the law.
Below the bill, ladies would be permitted to join a men’s sports group if the college does not have a women’s group for the exact same sport.
The bill is one particular of quite a few that the Legislature is contemplating this session that could bring important modifications to the lives of gay and transgender Texans. But it is unclear what influence this bill would have right away in Texas’ public universities. According to an Austin American-Statesman survey of Texas public universities, the vast majority of Texas schools responded that, to their information, they had not had a transgender athlete compete for their university.
For additional than a decade, the NCAA has permitted transgender ladies to participate in women’s sports if they had at least one particular year of testosterone suppression medication to treat gender dysphoria. But final year, the conference’s board of governors adopted a new policy that determined trans athletes’ qualifications for participation on a sport-by-sport basis. LGBTQ advocates decried the modify as the conference bowing to political stress from these who disapproved of the organization’s choice to enable Lia Thomas, a trans lady, to compete on the women’s swimming group at the University of Pennsylvania.
The new NCAA policy is nevertheless becoming phased in. As of now, trans athletes who want to participate in college sports should meet preceding policy needs set in 2010 and report their testosterone levels at the start out of the season and six months into competitors.
Legal professionals say the Texas legislation could open up universities to Title IX lawsuits. In 2021, the Biden administration mentioned that law, which was developed additional than 50 years ago to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, applies to LGBTQ students. Final month, the administration proposed an amendment to Title IX that would prohibit blanket bans barring transgender students from participating on sports teams constant with their gender identity.
The proposal faced mixed critiques from LGBTQ advocacy groups that say it would nevertheless enable for discrimination against trans students, whilst critics say it would threaten women’s sports.
“[T]he Department’s proposed regulation would try to coerce compliance with an uncertain, fluid, and absolutely subjective common that is primarily based on a hugely politicized gender ideology,” 25 Republican governors, which includes Abbott, wrote in a joint comment. “Most troubling, the proposed regulation would turn the objective of Title IX on its head and threaten the several achievements of ladies in athletics.”
Final month, the U.S. Residence of Representatives authorized a bill that would amend Title IX to call for student athletes to participate on sports teams primarily based on their sex assigned at birth. The legislation is unlikely to pass in the U.S. Senate, exactly where Democrats have narrow manage.
Disclosure: Human Rights Campaign has been a economic supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in aspect by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Economic supporters play no function in the Tribune’s journalism. Obtain a comprehensive list of them right here.
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