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Senate to Consider Bill to Level Playing Field for Female Athletes

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Texas’ Senate State Affairs Committee is set to hear legislation designed to prevent biological men from competing against female athletes in Texas schools.

State Sen. Charles Perry (R–Lubbock) filed Senate Bill 29, a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, which would ensure athletic teams are based on biological sex. After President Joe Biden signed an executive order demanding transgender athletes be allowed in whichever gender-based sports team they choose, many have expressed concerns that such a situation would be unfair to female athletes. 

The bill itself would prohibit a student from joining a gender-based athletics team opposite the sex stated on the student’s birth certificate. The only exception is that a girl may join a male athletics group if there are no female athletic opportunities available. The bill would apply to University Interscholastic League activities, as well as interscholastic teams backed by public and open-enrollment charter schools.

The proposal has the support of Republican legislators, with 16 co-authors. When Texas Scorecard reached out to Perry’s office for comment, we were told, “Our intent is to make sure girls can compete at the UIL level competitively and safely, not against biological males.” 

Other Texas legislators have expressed similar concerns. State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R–Spring) filed House Bill 1458, a similar bill that would enshrine teams based on biological gender in interscholastic sports, as well as in state-sponsored athletics. Her bill also allows compensatory relief for students and schools affected by institutions or local governments that defy the law.

This is part of a larger movement across America to guarantee female athletes will have a level playing field and not have their leagues overran with biological males. Three states—Idaho, Tennessee, and Mississippi—have already passed laws pertaining to this, with numerous other states considering similar legislation.

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