Repair Califa with Getty ImagesProtesters have tried to derail multiple anti-trans bills in the Texas Legislature this year, but Republicans finally managed to pass such laws through the state legislature on Thursday.
The Texas House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation banning transgender athletes from participating in gender-appropriate school sports, pushing Texas on its way to becoming the largest state. pass such a law as part of a larger Republican crusade against trans rights this year.
The HB 25 bill was passed by a 76-54 vote in the Texas House after more than 10 hours of emotional debate.
The bill, which largely targets trans women and girls to participate in women’s sports, still needs final approval from the Texas Senate, but this body has already passed similar laws and transition looks likely.
BREAKING: The Texas House voted to discriminate against trans children and exclude them from playing sports as their true selves.
For months, trans children and advocates have been battling against bills like HB 25. This fight does not end tonight. #TransPeopleAit
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has passed laws targeting transgender athletes in eight states, all with Republican legislatures. signed an executive order similar to this year’s law. But the Texas bill, House Bill 25, will likely have greater implications, given that Texas is home to the nation’s second-largest LGBTQ population and often serves as a starting point for some of the most aggressively conservative legislation in the country.
Texas Republicans, like their counterparts in other states, presented the bill as an effort. protect women’s sports and Title IX, the federal law that guarantees women and girls equal access to education and scholastic athletics.
But as in other states, fans did not produce evidence that trans athletes actually pose a risk for girls to participate or compete in scholastic sports. Ahead of Thursday’s vote, Texas Republicans also said they did not know how many trans athletes compete in scholastic sports across the state.
“This is not an issue,” Democratic state representative Mary González said on the Assembly floor on Thursday. “We don’t need this invoice; In fact, we should do the opposite.”
Democrats sought to derail the bill’s passage on Thursday with a series of amendments and arguments that even considering such laws on the House floor has serious implications for transgender and LGBTQ youth across the state. Trevor Project, a crisis and suicide prevention organization, said there were contacts from LGBTQ Texans. increased by 150% this year, more than 11,000. The group said more than a third of those calls came from young transgender and non-binary Texans.
LGBTQ youth advocates say the bill’s passage won’t just deny trans youth education and sports opportunities. It will also exacerbate mental health problems and put more lives at risk.
“At best we will have transgender youth who have become accustomed to being bullied by the state’s political leadership and at worst are no longer with us because they have seen the hate that these people put towards them,” said Andrea Nicolette Segovia, policy and field coordinator of the Texas Transgender Education Network.
“And we’re talking about children,” he continued. “We’re not talking about people who pay their taxes, have a job, or can vote for these people. We’re talking about kids who don’t have much control over what’s going on in their lives, and honestly, they’re lucky if they have a supportive person in their life.”
The Texas House has been the biggest stumbling block to Republicans’ efforts to pass the anti-trans law for years: In 2017, protests by activists and opposition from large corporations blocked the law’s passage. the so-called “bathroom bill” in the state legislature and other anti-trans sports bills could not progress Three times this year from the House Education Committee.
But that bill passed a separate committee last week, paving the way for Republicans to pass it on Thursday, during yet another special legislative session.
While government Greg Abbott (R) will almost certainly sign the bill after it passes both houses, that doesn’t guarantee it will go into effect. Last year, a federal judge similar legislation blocked Enacted in Idaho. federal court of appeal I heard an appeal He appealed against this decision in May, but has yet to announce his decision.
Segovia said national and Texas-based civil rights and LGBTQ rights groups also plan to file legal appeals against HB 25 if it becomes law.
A coalition of 1,500 companies based in Texas has emerged, including American Airlines, Apple, and Amazon. illegal before passing, as in the WNBA and Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash – Houston’s men’s and women’s professional soccer teams. Mayors across the state have also urged the legislature to withdraw the bill.
Segovia was concerned that the law’s passing would only discourage Texas Republicans and perhaps lead to a revival of a “bathroom bill” that would ban transgender Texans from using public facilities best suited to their gender identity or other bills related to birth certificates. this would similarly restrict LGBTQ rights.
“What’s his next step?” ‘ asked Segovia. “What is the chain reaction of this and do they think they are successful? Where will they stand? We just don’t know.”