On Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives voted to restrict students to participate in school sports only under their birth gender and bar transgender students from picking their own categories for competition.
The state’s lower chamber failed to pass similar bills on three occasions before Thursday’s successful vote. Nevertheless, according to Reuters, the bill will likely be signed by Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott.
Once enacted, Texas will join seven other states that have put restrictions on transgender students, relegating them to sports corresponding to their birth gender, not the gender they had self-assigned.
(AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
The latest version of the bill approved by the House will be sent back to the State Senate for procedural approval, and from there, it is expected to go right to the governor’s desk.
Texas is poised to join Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia in barring transgender students from participating in sports outside their birth gender. Another measure has also been enacted in South Dakota. Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order barring transgender “girls” from participating with natural-born girls in the state’s schools. The measure, though, faces several lawsuits filed by activists who oppose Noem’s action.
Idaho had attempted to pass such a restriction, but a federal judge blocked the law last year.
Activists are launching lawsuits in each of the states to force federal rules to cancel state laws containing such restrictions. It is likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually have to weigh in to impose a uniform resolution.
A recent lawsuit in Connecticut that aimed to protect female athletes was dismissed when a judge ruled that a case against the state was moot because the boys claiming to be transgender girls have graduated and are no longer students in state schools.
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