Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to put an end to transgender athletes competing in collegiate women’s sports. Abbot made the promise while speaking at a meeting of the Young America Foundation in Dallas.
Abbott told attendees that the next Texas House session will pass a law prohibiting biological men from competing against women in college sports.
“We have fought for the right of women to be able to succeed in this world only to have that now superseded by this ideology that men are going to be empowered to compete against women,” Abbott said. “… It has completely disrupted and disheartened so many women athletes.”
Men are the best women pic.twitter.com/PQpx6fMWKu
— YAF (@yaf) February 11, 2023
Abbot added that only biological women should compete in women’s sports and be allowed to represent the U.S. in women’s sports at the Olympics.
However, Equality Texas, an LGBTQ rights group, criticized Abbot’s plan while claiming it would leave abandon trans athletes and leave them with no way of expressing themselves in sports.
“This type of legislation would abandon trans athletes and leave them without a way to express themselves in sports.”
— Equality Texas (@EqualityTexas) February 13, 2023
Abbott previously signed a bill in 2021 that banned girls from competing in female sports in public schools. The bill, which went into effect in January 2022, allows athletes to participate only as part of teams that correspond to the gender registered on their birth certificates at or near the time of their birth, according to The Washington Post.
Prior to the bill’s passage, University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversees competitive school-level sports in Texas, allowed students to compete on teams that are in accordance with the gender listed on their birth certificates. This loophole allowed transgender girls, who have modified their birth certificates to reflect their new gender, to compete in girls’ sports.
The new bill closed the loophole by requiring the UIL to only accept birth certificates issued at the time of birth or near the time of birth.