Texas ban on transgender athletes gains initial Senate approval

Apr 15, 2021 by


“Texas ban on transgender athletes gains initial Senate approval”

By Chuck Lindell


Excerpts from this article:

Voting 18-13, the Texas Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to legislation banning transgender student athletes from competing in sports within their gender identity.

Senate Bill 29 would require athletes in Texas public high schools and grade schools to compete in sports based on the “biological sex” listed on their original birth certificate. Under that definition, biological boys would be banned from competing in girls sports, although girls could compete in boys sports if a comparable female sport was not available.

“This is about protecting female athletes and recognizing their accomplishments within their biological peer group,” said Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, author of the bill.

Amended birth certificates, which can be issued to reflect gender changes for transgender people, would no longer be accepted by the University Interscholastic League, which oversees extracurricular athletic events.

…Perry said biological boys can have physical advantages that would make it unfair to compete against biological girls, and he predicted that “more and more” transgender athletes will try to compete in girls sports across Texas.

“I have the same respect for those women that have done what they needed to do to be at the top of their game, not to have a transgendered, biological male come in and stealing all those accolades from them,” Perry said.

Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, spoke in favor of Perry’s bill, saying her life was shaped by her sporting accomplishments as a child playing girls softball and a collegiate golfer. Female athletes should not be denied similar opportunities to compete on a level playing field, she said.

“I believe that this is the women’s rights issue of our time,” Kolkhorst said. “I really do.”

The Senate is expected to take a final vote on SB 29 on Thursday, with approval sending the measure to the Texas House, which has to date taken no action on a similar bill.

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