Texas is likely to be the next US state to ban trans youth from participating in school sports after the Texas House approved HB 25 in a 76-54 vote following three failed attempts to pass the bill. According to the Texas Tribune, the bill would force students to compete on school sports terms in accordance with their gender assigned at birth, and will now head to the Senate where it is expected to pass.
The bill was authored by lawmaker Valoree Swanson, who insisted it would “protect” women and girls in sports. State representative Mary E González disputed Swanson, describing the bill as “harmful” and saying: “If you care about mental health, and I know you do, then do this simple thing and not advance this piece of harmful legislation…There is no issue with transgender and intersex students playing sports.”
ACLU of Texas is urging residents to contact their state representatives and request they vote against the “cruel” bill the will “further exclude transgender people from public life at a time when we should be creating laws to protect them from discrimination.” Tens of US states have proposed anti-trans legislation this year alone, with most bills challenging trans inclusion in school sports.
Despite increased hostility towards trans athletes, a 2021 study found that trans participation in sports poses no threat to cisgender youth, as there is no evidence to “support the claim that allowing transgender athletes to participate will reduce or harm participation in girls’ sports”. It argued that the recent anti-trans discourse relies on “scare tactics, stereotypes, and unwarranted claims that transgender women have a physiological advantage over cisgender women”, meaning there is no scientific reason for banning trans inclusion in school sports.