Texas Gov Calls Special Session to Ban Trans Sports

Written by SK Ashby

Texas Governor Greg Abbot has called a special session of the Texas state legislature to quickly pass several of his policy priorities and one of them is a ban on transgender participation in youth sports.

Like all other conservative lawmakers, Republicans in Texas say a transgender sports ban is necessary to protect sports programs even though they cannot point to a single example of trans participation being an actual problem. And like similar laws proposed or passed in other states, this one is also exclusive to girls.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services will discuss Senate Bill 2 and Senate Bill 32, after a similar bill died during a key Texas House of Representatives deadline at the end of the regular session.

Both special session bills are almost identical, in that they both require students to play the school sports corresponding with their sex at birth.

However, both bills - like Senate Bill 29, the bill that died in the regular session - allow girls to play boys sports if the school does not offer that same sport for girls.

That means these bills are a de facto ban on transgender girls playing girls sports.

If transgender girls and the parents who love them are lucky, these bills will also die before the state legislature's special session ends. But they aren't wasting any time and apparently consider it enough of a priority to consider the legislation on a Monday morning.

There's not much I can say about the actual legislation that I haven't already said so many times that I feel like a broken record. Tailoring a ban exclusively to girls reveals the deep trans-misogyny and sexism of the actual legislation and the rhetoric used to support it. It implies that women and girls are exclusively vulnerable or incapable of handling the presence of their transgender peers. It implies that girls are more likely to be physically disadvantaged when nothing could be further from the truth.

Passing laws like this under any circumstances is a waste of time and energy, but calling a special session to do it is so pathetic it would be funny if the potential consequences to young transgender girls weren't so severe.

Parents with the means should move away from any state that tries to criminalize their children's gender identity. That potentially includes my own home state of Ohio where Governor Mike DeWine just signed a bill into law that allows doctors to refuse to treatment for LGBT patients for "moral" reasons; as if refusing to treat another human is not deeply immoral all on its own. Refusing to treat an enemy combatant in war is actually a war crime.