Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday signed a law barring the state’s transgender college athletes from playing sports that match their gender identity — Expanded 2021 laws Transgender students in Texas K-12 school districts and some charter schools are prohibited from doing so.
Abbott framed Senate Bill 15called the “Save Women in Sports Act,” which seeks to protect female athletes from unfair competition.
“Women’s sport is under threat. Some women are being forced to compete with biological men,” he said at Thursday’s signature event.
The new law, which went into effect Sept. 1, allows individuals to sue institutions that allow transgender athletes to compete on teams that match their gender identity.
Limiting the ability of transgender athletes — especially transgender women — to play on sports teams that match their gender identity has become a growing focus for some Republicans, with restrictions enacted by Alabama last month and by the U.S. House of Representatives in April. A similar ban was passed.
Proponents of the restrictions argue that transgender women have a physical advantage over cisgender women and that the rules give female athletes an equal chance to compete. However, little research has been done on transgender college athletes.2017 Reports in Journals sports medicinee found “no direct or consistent research” showing that transgender people have an athletic advantage over cisgender people.
Opponents say the restrictions are discriminatory.
“SB 15 is yet another harmful attack by anti-LGBTQ lawmakers on the rights of trans people in Texas to be accepted, embraced, and thrive — especially at Texas public universities and colleges,” said Marti Bier of the Texas Freedom Network, which Lobbying against conservative legislation and policies affecting education.
The new law comes after Abbott earlier this month signed a ban on gender-affirming care for most minors in the state, making Texas the largest U.S. state to limit access to intensive care for transgender youth .
The two bans are part of a larger push by Republican-controlled rallies across the U.S. to impose restrictions on transgender people, the ACLU has documented 490 anti-LGBTQ bills Presented at this session.
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