Transgender athletes will not be allowed to compete in college sports in the Lone Star State, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has vowed.
“This next session, we will pass a law prohibiting biological men to compete against women in college sports,” the governor said during a meeting of young conservatives in Dallas, the NY Post reports.
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Under his leadership, the state imposed a similar ban in 2021 on transgender competitors in public schools from kindergarten through high school.
Texas politicians are now turning their attention to universities, with two politicians filing a bill to ban trans women from competing against biological women in college sports.
Alongside Texas, 17 other states have passed laws or placed restrictions on transgender people participating in sports, many of which have subsequently been challenged in court.
Abbott referenced Harvard transgender swimmer Lia Thomas during his remarks.
The 22-year-old University of Pennsylvania swimmer sparked a national debate on whether athletes who were born male should be allowed to compete against biological females.
Thomas, who is originally from Austin, Texas, did not have the support of many of her teammates — sixteen of which argued she had an “unfair biological advantage.”
“We’ve fought for the rights of women to be able to succeed in this world only to have that now superseded by this ideology that men are going to be empowered to compete against women,” Abbott added during his comments.
The 6’1″ swimmer dominated in the pool, breaking records and winning titles. She was able to participate due to hormone treatment to lower her testosterone level, a requirement by the NCAA, which updated its policy in the last year to support transgender athletes.
If politicians in the Lone Star state do pass a bill restricting trans athletes, a court battle would almost certainly follow, as it has in many other states.
Florida passed a similar law in 2021, called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act which banned anyone born biologically male from being able to compete against women at public school and college levels. The Florida law requires players to submit a birth certificate showing their sex when they were born when signing up for a team.
It quickly resulted in multiple legal challenges at court — including from a lawsuit from a 13-year-old trans girl from Fort Lauderdale who was not allowed to continue playing on girl’s soccer teams. However, despite these it is still currently in place.
In Texas, LGBTQ groups were quick to speak out against Abbott’s proposal. “This type of legislation would abandon trans athletes and leave them without a way to express themselves in sports,” Equality Texas tweeted.
Trans people have pushed back on Texas’ law restricting them from competing since it was introduced.
“These laws are not ‘protecting girls’ they are hurting girls because transgender girls are girls. Science supports that transgender people are valid and you should to. Let us play sports,” trans youth Elliot told the It Gets Better project.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.
Story Credit: news.com.au