The University Interscholastic League (UIL) will ask the school superintendents in Texas to vote on using a birth certificate to determine a student-athlete’s gender. The founder of the group TransAthlete.com cries foul, saying the proposed rule denies equal access to transgendered students.
The vote will be placed on a referendum ballot that will probably be distributed at the beginning of next year.
As reported by The Dallas Morning News, UIL’s policy director, Jamey Harrison, says the vote will not change the league’s current procedure. The UIL already advises school districts to use birth certificates when questions about gender arise.
The article in the Morning News states, “If passed, Texas would officially become one of the more restrictive states in the nation for transgender students.”
The news outlet received a statement from Chris Mosier, founder of the transgender advocacy group TransAthlete.com. He called the measure a “horrible policy” that would deny equal access to transgender students.
Transgender advocate Mosier was credited with saying, “Categorizing transgender student athletes by their birth certificates is among the least inclusive policies at the high school level. High school athletics should focus on enabling participation, not restricting it.”
TransAthlete.com has a list of the transgender policies set by the high school athletics associations in each state. The “grading” of the states for their policies are listed as (1) “Inclusive-no medical hormones or surgery required;” (2) “Needs Modification;” and (3) “No policy.” Texas is presently listed as “NO POLICY.”
There are 15 states, including California and Wyoming, that allow student athletes to participate based on their “gender identity.”
The website includes a link entitled “Start Here,” that lists “Trans*Terminology.” It explains, “Before we can begin to discuss trans*inclusion in athletics, we need to be on the same page. Let’s start with the basics of language and concepts so we’re clear on what we’re talking about.” “Transgender,” “Cisgender,” “Gender Fluidity,” “Gender Expression,” and other transgender terminology are defined.
There is also a Trans*Athlete resource page, which includes guidelines for creating policies for transgender children in recreational sports, promising practices for inclusion of gender identity/gender expression in higher education, and other documents.
The UIL has a “non-discrimination” policy that allows equal opportunity no matter disability, race, color, gender, religion, or national origin. There are some exceptions to that general policy.
The University of Texas at Austin created the UIL to assist public school athletic and debate teachers. It operates as part of the university. The UIL started in 1910 and has grown into the largest inter-school organization of its kind in the world, according to its website.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2