Oct 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs Texas law targeting trans youth in sports

LGBTQ rights supporters gather at the Texas state capitol

LGBTQ rights supporters gather at the Texas State Capitol to protest state Republican-led efforts to pass legislation that would restrict the participation of transgender student athletes. Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday signed a bill that will force public school students to play on sports teams based on their assigned sex at birth.

Why it matters: Though Texas has proposed over 40 bills targeting transgender youth, this is the first to become law, the 19th News reports.

  • Texas now becomes the 10th state in the country to enact legislation banning transgender kids from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity, per NBC News.

The big picture: Republicans backing the bills say the legislation ensures fairness in women's sports, although multiple states that have passed such bills have failed to provide evidence that trans athletes have an unfair advantage in competitions.

  • Last week a White House spokesperson denounced the bill as "hateful" and said it, and others like it, "are nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation and undermine our nation’s core values.”

What they're saying: “Transgender and nonbinary youth are already at higher risk for poor mental health and suicide because of bullying, discrimination, and rejection. This misguided legislation will only make matters worse," said Amit Paley, CEO of The Trevor Project, in a statement.

Go deeper