After comparable legislation cruised through the Senate and stalled in the House three times this year, the Texas House approved legislation on Thursday that would ban transgender student-athlete participation in school sports, clearing a significant hurdle for advocates of the move.
House Bill 25, sponsored by state Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring), was approved. House Speaker Dade Phelan indicated that the House would have the votes to adopt the restrictive sports legislation. The bill gets sent to the Senate for consideration, where it will surely pass.
Student-athletes in K-12 public schools would get compelled to compete on sports teams that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate received at or near the time of their birth under HB 25. The proposal targets transgender, who would get barred from playing on sports teams that correspond to their gender identity.
The University Interscholastic League, which administers Texas school sports, currently demands that an athlete's gender get decided by the sex given on their birth certificate. Swanson has stated that HB 25 would "codify" current UIL guidelines. UIL, on the other hand, accepts legitimately altered birth certificates. That regulation could accommodate someone who has had their birth certificate modified to fit their gender identity.
HB 25 would prevent these legally altered birth certificates from being recognized unless the alterations make due to a clerical error. It is unclear how it will get decided that a birth certificate has been legitimately altered or not.