After 10 hours of emotional, contentious debate, the Texas House voted Thursday night to block transgender athletes from competing in public school sports with those opposite of their biological sex. HB 25 would require public school athletes to compete in sports based on the biological sex listed on their birth certificates.
Approved 76-54, HB 25 next goes to the Texas Senate, where fast approval is expected. The bill’s author, Rep. Valoree Swanson, and other Republicans stated that the goal was to protect girls sports. “I’m excited that we have the opportunity today to stand up for our daughters, our granddaughters and all our Texas girls,” Swanson said, adding that HB 25 seeks to protect competitive fairness and safety for girls who might otherwise be forced to compete against biological males who are generally bigger, faster and stronger.
“We fought for this right, and now we have to defend it,” she said. However, Democrats nationwide have attacked such legislation. “Where is this coming from?” asked Rep. Ann Johnson (D-Houston). “Because we put on the record that there is not one case — not one case — of a trans girl taking a competitive spot from a female student in Texas.”
Gov. Greg Abbott has endorsed the law, adding the sports bill to the agenda of all three special sessions after Democrats blocked its passage in the regular session that ended in May. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, has made the transgender sports bill one of his top legislative priorities [American Statesman].