Texas Senate Passes Anti-Transgender Sports Ban Bill

by Wyatt Ronan

AUSTIN, TX — Yesterday, the Texas Senate, which was reconvened for a special session earlier this month, passed SB 2, a bill that would ban the participation of transgender women and girls in sports consistent with their gender identity. The bill is one of two anti-transgender bills on the special session call along with SB 32, another sports ban bill.

The Senate passed a similar anti-transgender sports ban bill, SB 29, during the regular session this spring. 2021 has been a record-breaking year for the passage of anti-LGBTQ and specifically anti-transgender legislation, with 25 anti-LGBTQ bills having been enacted, including 13 specifically anti-transgender laws across 8 states. More than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced across 33 states this session, including more than 130 specifically anti-transgender bills. Each of these marks has set a new record for anti-equality legislation being introduced and enacted in a single state legislative session since the Human Rights Campaign began tracking legislation. Human Rights Campaign Texas State Director Rebecca Marques issued the following statement in response to the Senate passage of SB 2 and SB 32:

While Texas leaders attempt to rewrite just how discriminatory this session has been, the Senate advanced another anti trans bill. Every session, Texas lawmakers recycle the same discriminatory playbook to generate fear. But this time, it’s aimed at children. It’s been four years since the infamous ‘bathroom bill’ made Texas a laughingstock and was ultimately defeated. After his efforts to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ Texans failed in the regular 2021 legislative session, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is again pushing anti transgender legislation on the taxpayer’s dime. Advancing these two bills — knowing full well they harm Texas children and families — is unconscionable. Bills like SB 2 and SB 32 are opposed by educators, sports organizations, and medical professionals. Collegiate and professional sports organizations have had trans-inclusive policies for years without incident, and there is no reason any state would need a ban on transgender participation in sports at the K-12 level. Transgender kids are kids who just want to play, and they deserve that chance. Pacifying a far-right base by targeting the health, safety and welfare of transgender children is heartless and cruel — Texas children and families deserve better.

Rebecca Marques, Human Rights Campaign Texas State Director

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