Transgender sports bills advance in Texas Senate

Transgender sports bills advance in Texas Senate
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A committee in the Texas State Senate has advanced two bills aimed at limiting transgender athletes from competing in sports that align with their gender identity.

The state Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 6-0 to advance Senate Bill 2 and Senate Bill 32 in the current special legislative session, with all the votes being from Republicans, according to The Dallas Morning News.

S.B. 2 prevents public schools and higher education institutions from allowing a student to compete in a sport that is “designated for the biological sex opposite to the student’s biological sex” as stated on their birth certificate or other government record, according to its text.

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S.B. 32 would institute a similar ban, but it only applies to public schools.

The transgender sports ban had become a priority for Texas Republicans, who were expected to consider such legislation in a special session this month.

In late May, Texas Democrats blocked the passage of a separate transgender sports ban, Senate Bill 29, by stacking the bill with amendments and questions, running out the midnight deadline to pass it. 

But it’s unclear if S.B. 2 and S.B. 32 will pass the legislature and become state law, since Texas House Democrats fled to Washington, D.C. on Monday to block the passage of a sweeping elections overhaul bill.

More than 240 anti-LGBTQ laws were introduced across the country this year, of which 24 were enacted, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which announced late last month that it is suing several GOP-led states over such laws.

Eight states have specifically passed laws restricting transgender women and girls from participating in sports associated with their gender identity, the Human Rights Campaign said.