New bill aims to block transgender Texans from participating in school athleticsAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Thursday, May 18th, 2017
The Texas House Committee on Public Education is considering a bill, already passed by the State Senate, which could be used to ban transgender students on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) from athletic participation by allowing the University Interscholastic League (UIL) to label their medical treatment as steroid use.
Currently, the UIL already bars the use of steroids but protects students who receive hormones as part of HRT prescribed by a doctor.
So why are politicians at the Texas State Capitol pushing to pass Senate Bill 2095?
Senate Bill 2095 is an anti-trans response to yet another anti-trans policy in place by the UIL which demands birth certificates to be used to determine the gender division for student athletes in Texas. This rule forces transgender athletes to either play against students who do not align with their gender or to go through the long and costly process of amending their birth certificate in order to participate in sports according to their gender identity. The process to amend a birth certificate even more difficult in Texas because there is no legal standard for gender-maker changes.
This current discriminatory policy has led to athletes like Mack Beggs, a transgender male wrestler at Euless Trinity, to be forced to compete in the female division, despite repeated calls to be allowed to play with his male peers. Now, instead of correcting the UIL policy to be more aligned with regulations rooted in science rather than anti-transgender fearmongering, such as those adopted by the International Olympic Committee and other sport governing bodies, Texas lawmakers aim to ban athletes like Beggs from participating in sports altogether.
SB 2095 is one of the 24 anti-LGBTQ bills constituting the “all-out assault on LGBT people” being waged by members of the Texas Legislature this session. Among them are SB 6 and HB 2899 which would establish state-sanctioned discrimination against transgender Texans by barring them from public accommodations. These anti-transgender bills are rooted in ignorance, fear, and hatred that put the privacy and safety of transgender Texans at risk.
Targeting transgender athletes with bills like SB 2095 is not the solution for this self-made problem. If the UIL and Texas Legislature is truly interested in addressing the current misguided and discriminatory birth certificate policy, the LGBT Sports Foundation has created a model policy for trans-inclusive high school sports working with LGBTQ organizations such as GLAAD and the founder of TransAthlete.com, Chris Mosier.
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