‘Women’s sports are being threatened’ | Gov. Abbott signs controversial bill barring trans athletes from women’s sports

The bill requires college athletes to play on the sports teams that match the biological sex they were assigned at birth.

AUSTIN, Texas — College sports are woven into the fabric of the University of Texas, and Texas Republicans have made women’s sports a priority in this legislative session.

On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott signed the Senate Bill 15After that, the Save Women in Sports Act became law.

“The legacy of women’s sport will live on for generations to come,” Abbott said at the signing.

The bill requires college athletes to play on the sports teams that match the biological sex they were assigned at birth.

“Women’s sport, women’s records, women’s teams, women’s locker rooms are all threatened when men are allowed to compete for those teams, those titles or those records,” Abbott said.

An exception in the law allows women to play on a men’s team if the sport does not have a women’s team.

LGBTQ+ supporters say the bill discriminates against trans athletes. During the legislative session, there was intense debate about how the bill would lead to hatred of trans-Texans.

“You’ve been trying to paint trans people as a danger, so whether it’s discrimination, dignity, or the legislative violence you’ve put in place on them, it looks like you’re protecting yourself from a threat, but trans people aren’t a threat,” said Molly, mother of a transgender woman.

But Jeri Shanteau, a three-time national swimming champion who advocated for the bill, said it had nothing to do with exclusion.

“We need to make sure we realize we’re protecting the women’s movement,” Chanto said. “We’re not trying to take away from anyone else. It’s about keeping women safe, private and fair.”

Shanteau said her work to ensure fairness for female athletes will not stop in Texas.

“We will continue to support women and young girls,” Shanteau said. “Because it’s relevant to the NCAA, we have to hold them accountable for creating policies that protect women’s sports. If we don’t, we’re absolutely eradicating the precipice of women’s sports.”

Asked about the law’s message to LGBTQ+ Texans, Abbott said the state will continue to advance policies that protect children, the women’s movement and all Texans and their freedoms.

equality in texasa nonprofit advocacy group for the LGBTQ+ community, released a statement on signing SB15 into law.

“Participating in sports is an important part of many young people’s college experience. Sports can teach teamwork, determination and sportsmanship. Young athletes who invest time and energy in improving their skills to excel in college sports deserve to play with their teammates. According to Athletes Only The identity that excludes athletes from college sports is fundamentally un-American. If you work hard, you deserve to play. This should apply to all Texans, including trans Texans.”

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