Texas bans transgender girls from participating in female sports in public schools

27 October 2021, 14:31

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Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

The bill will come into effect in January 2022.

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Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill banning transgender girls from taking part in female sports at public schools.

The bill was signed into law on Monday (Oct 25) and apparently its aim is to ensure that school sports remain fair. A common argument in support of the bill is that transgender athletes playing on female sports teams have a physical advantage over cisgendered women. However, there's actually little evidence to support that transgender girls have an advantage as proven by the inclusion of trans athletes in the 2021 Olympics.

Rep. Valoree Swanson, a lead sponsor in the state House, said the ban is "all about girls and protecting them" while speaking on the House floor in October. She said: "We need a statewide level playing field. It’s very important that we, who got elected to be here, protect our girls."

READ MORE: Arkansas just passed a bill banning gender-affirming healthcare for trans kids

Texas bans trans schoolgirls from female sports in public schools
Texas bans trans schoolgirls from female sports in public schools. Picture: Getty Images, Alamy

The ban will take effect for all pupils in public elementary schools up to university students on 18th January 2022. While transgender schoolgirls were previously required to obtain a court order in order to allow them to play on sports teams that did not align with their birth gender, the bill has effectively stopped that.

In response, LGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality Texas released a statement on Twitter, which read: "If Texans want to protect children, the goal shouldn't be to prevent trans kids from participating in sports, but to give all kids the freedom to make friends & play without fearing the kind of discrimination many older trans people face on a daily basis."

Sadly, this isn't the first right-wing measure being put in place several states in the US. Texas has already banned abortions after six weeks into the pregnancy. Meanwhile, eight other states (Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana,  South Dakota, West Virginia, Florida and Tennessee) have banned trans students from participating in female sports teams in public high schools and colleges.

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Lawrence Chaney and Victoria Scone
Lawrence Chaney and Victoria Scone. Picture: PopBuzz