UPDATED 2:38 PM PT – Friday, October 15, 2021
The Texas House recently voted in legislation that prohibits transgender athletes from competing on teams based on their gender identity. Representatives passed House Bill 25 in a 70-to-54 vote on Thursday.
The “Save Women’s Sports Bill” requires students to play on teams that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate at or near the time of birth, rather than the gender they identify with.
“House Bill 25 is a common sense solution, it protects the safety and the right to equal participation to the 332,000 girls in UIL sports,” said Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Texas).
Similar bills had previously passed in the Texas Senate on three separate occasions, but until Thursday’s vote, it had not been able to make it to the House floor. Rep. Swanson is the bill’s author.
“I would not have brought the bill if I didn’t feel like it was important for us to protect our girls here in Texas, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of girls right now, and all the ones following them,” stated Swanson.
After nearly eleven hours of debate, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Valoree Swanson’s bill protecting women sports just passed the Texas House! On to the Senate! #txlege #HB25
— Texas Freedom Caucus (@TxFreedomCaucus) October 15, 2021
Republican lawmakers like Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Texas) argued that fairness and the integrity of women’s sports is at risk. He pointed out how if a biological male is practicing on a woman’s team, a biological female risks losing a spot.
Swanson said Thursday’s vote was a huge hurdle in the battle to protect girl’s equal access to athletic opportunities like college scholarships.
“By passing this bill, we are standing up for our daughters and granddaughters, we are standing up for their right to compete in sports and all the opportunities in life that flow from that,” the lawmaker said.
The bill now advances to the state Senate where it’s expected to pass before heading to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas).
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