Democrats kill Texas transgender athlete bill
Democrats in the Texas legislature have killed a bill that would have required transgender athletes to compete on sports teams corresponding to their gender assigned at birth.
The bill, S.B. 29, had already passed the state Senate, but it died in the House after Democrats ran out the clock with amendments and questions. The measure failed to receive a vote by a midnight Tuesday “pass-or-die” deadline, according to The Guardian.
News of the stalled-to-death bill comes amid a flurry of transgender athlete legislation and other measures that have been proposed or passed across the U.S., largely in GOP-controlled states.
States including Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas have enacted similar bans.
In March, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed an executive order that would bar transgender girls and women from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.
At the time, Noem said: “Only girls should play girls’ sports.”
“Given the legislature’s failure to accept my proposed revisions to HB 1217, I am immediately signing two executive orders to address this issue: one to protect fairness in K-12 athletics, and another to do so in college athletics,” she said.
There have so far been more than 30 pieces of legislation proposed in 2021 to ban transgender women and girls from participating on sports teams that match their gender identity, according to a tally from The Washington Post.
The Guardian reports that the Texas bill is the third of its kind to die in the state’s legislature this session.
“It’s just an unnecessary, divisive bill that really harms, because even talking about the bill harms transgender youth in our state,” said state Rep. Chris Turner (D) chair of the House Democratic Caucus, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
However, the bill’s author, Republican state Sen. Charles Perry, told the Telegram it is needed to provide a “fair and safe environment for women competitive athletes.”
On Wednesday, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said that he would ask on Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to call a special session in the summer to address the bill and “save girl sports.”
Asking @GregAbbott_TX to call a June #SpecialSession today to pass #SB29 to save girls sports, #SB10 to end taxpayer funded lobbying and #SB12 to stop social media censorship. The TxHouse killed these conservative bills that majority of Texans in both parties support. #txlege
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) May 26, 2021