Women’s and girls’ sports will be reserved for women and girls under a new Texas law denounced by the Biden White House as “hateful.”
On Monday, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 25, which says an athlete’s “biological sex” as determined by his or her birth certificate is the sole criteria for eligibility.
“Women secured the right to vote 100 years ago. We secured the right to equal opportunity in high school and collegiate sports in 1972. Now, biological males are threatening those gains by entering girls’ sports and robbing them of both championship trophies and scholarship opportunities,” Republican Rep. Valoree Swanson, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement on her website. “My colleagues and I are fighting back for women and girls!”
The new law takes effect on Jan. 18, according to The Texas Tribune.
Matt Hill, the White House’s senior associate communications director, attacked the law and others like it in a Twitter post on Oct. 19.
“Our message to young transgender people in Texas and across the country: these hateful bills are bullying disguised as legislation, and @POTUS and our Administration will always keep fighting for the full equality LGBTQ+ folks deserve,” Hill said.
Our message to young transgender people in Texas and across the country: these hateful bills are bullying disguised as legislation, and @POTUS and our Administration will always keep fighting for the full equality LGBTQ+ folks deserve. #YallMeansAll https://t.co/bpb1UwI1KL
— Matt Hill (@MattHill46) October 19, 2021
Swanson said the bill upholds the principles of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex.
“It’s so very, very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years,” she said.
Although critics said there had been no cases reported in Texas in which men or boys who identified as female were taking opportunities away from women or girls, Swanson said there is no need to allow female athletes to suffer, as has happened in other states.
“Our constituents expect us to see problems that are coming, and not wait till there’s a disaster ’til everything falls apart and try to fix it,” she said, according to KXAN-TV. “We don’t have to wait ’til it’s a big problem in Texas.”
Critics have said the transgendered youths cannot cope with the concept that they cannot compete as women even though they are men.
“Because the Texas Legislature has been pursuing these bills, 150% increase in suicide has occurred in the LGBTQ community, predominantly of transgendered kids, because their government does not care about them,” Democratic state Rep. Julie Johnson said.
Rebekah Bryant, the parent of an 8-year-old boy who she identified as her daughter, Sunny, said the bill filled her with remorse.
“I’m feeling very defeated and very deflated right now, and I was sad to tell Sunny because we’ve always filtered her from the badness of all this as much as possible,” Bryant said, according to the Tribune.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, however, said the bill was about fairness, according to KVUE-TV.
“We’re not trying to be against anyone or their lifestyle – that’s their decision. But we also can’t take away the rights of girls and women, and allowing boys to play girls sports is just unfair,” the Republican said.
“Boys can run faster, hit the ball longer if they’re playing softball, hit three-point shots, and rebound better. They can beat girls in track and field, as I’ve said, they can run faster. They can beat them in wrestling – that’s already happened in Texas – because they’re strong. It’s just not fair,” he said.
Female athletes denied scholarships could have their lives impacted, Patrick said.
“I mean, I have boys and girls in my family, kids, and grandchildren,” he said. “Boys have an unfair advantage, and it’s not right that girls might not get a spot on the team, not get a chance to play, not get a scholarship. It’s just not right. And that’s the reason that bill is important to me. It’s the right thing to do for girls and women.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.