New Texas law restricts transgender students’ participation in school sports

A new Texas law bars transgender student athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity.
By: | January 19, 2022

A new Texas law bars transgender student athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity. House Bill 25 is one of several laws that went into effect Tuesday, months after the Texas Legislature approved the measures during a third special legislative session last year.

The controversial measure, championed by Republican leaders in the state, applies to athletic programs sponsored or authorized by a school district or charter school that participate in the University Interscholastic League. According to the bill, a student must compete on sports teams that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate “entered at or near the time of the student’s birth.”

Gov. Greg Abbott added the issue to the third special legislative session agenda amid public pressure from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other fellow Republicans, who argued the law was needed to defend equal athletic opportunities for women under Title IX of federal civil rights legislation.

Opponents of the legislation continue to discount claims the law is needed to protect women’s sports. Jaime Puentes, who is an education and policy analyst with the progressive nonprofit Every Texan, says the measure could actually negatively affect cisgender women and girls.

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