Post submitted by David Topping, HRC Texas Field Manager
On Tuesday, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would directly impact transgender student athletes in Texas. TX SB2095 seeks to regulate “steroid” use by student athletes that compete in sport competitions sponsored or sanctioned by the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL). However, in practice, this bill is an attempt to prohibit trans student athletes, who may rely on hormone therapy, from being members of public primary and secondary schools sports teams that are consistent with the student’s gender identity.
SB2095 raises concerns because the opportunity for trans student athletes to compete is left to UIL’s whim. Trans student athletes seeking an exception to the bill’s ban are required to persuade UIL that the student’s hormone therapy serves a “valid medical purpose.” Furthermore, the bill’s requirement that a student provide UIL with “health-related information” when seeking an exception has the potential for an unnecessarily invasive and unduly burdensome investigation into a student’s medical background. Finally, due to the broad language of the bill, it is possible that even where a student believes they have provided all “health-related information,” UIL may reject what is provided as insufficient information.
The bill passed the Texas Senate 24-7, and shamefully four Democratic senators voted in support of this bill: Senators Hinojosa, Lucio Jr., Uresti, and West. HRC condemns the passage of this bill through the Senate and calls on House leadership to stop SB2095 from further consideration in the House.
As we enter the final weeks of session, HRC will continue to partner with Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas, the Texas Freedom Network, and the Transgender Education Network of Texas as we work together to defeat legislation that threatens the rights of LGBTQ Texans and their families. Volunteer to join us as we fight against anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas.