The Texas Senate voted in favor of legislation that keeps transgender persons out of female sports in public schools on Friday, Oct. 15.
According to CBS News, with the Friday Senate vote approving the legislation, the bill is close to officially becoming law in Texas. First, however, the bill is waiting for the House to evaluate an amendment to the legislation’s terminology.
The measure, House Bill 25, bars K-12 intersex student athletes from participating in sports competitions with members that are of the opposite sex to their biological gender.
Introduced by Representative Valoree Swanson (R-Tex.), the bill most likely targets male transgenders more, as they are no longer allowed to compete in sports games against female opponents.
Many critics alleged condoning such participation would create an unfair environment for biologically female athletes, who could be physically disadvantaged compared to born male students.
“I’m excited that we have the opportunity today to stand up for our daughters, granddaughters, and all our Texas girls,” said Swanson on Thursday when the bill was being contemplated by the Texas House, according to the Texas Tribune.
Following HB 25, modified birth certificates will not be accepted unless the adjustment was made due to a clerical error. Yet, transgender students may still have a chance to attend the game with their female peers if there are no other options available for the sport.
Opponents of the bill derided it for discrimination, warning potential mental harm caused to students who are already vulnerable to their choice of sex. They also argued there has not been concrete scientific proof that transgender females could be physically superior to biological females.
“This is bathroom bill 3.0, a bill that was not needed then and a bill that is not needed now,” derided Rep. Mary E. González (D-Tex.).
Nonetheless, bill supporters have stressed that HB 25 does not entirely prevent intersex students from sports games, but rather aims to have them join in the game with those of comparable biological abilities, the outlet reported.