Texas governor Greg Abbott on Monday signed into law a bill banning transgender girls from participating in female sports at public schools. The bill is part of a wave of similar measures emerging from Republican-controlled statehouses across the US.
Trans rights advocates decry such restrictions as discriminatory, “hate”-based measures whose real purpose is to energize hard-core social conservatives. They say there is little or no evidence that trans women or girls are dominating sports.
Supporters of the bill, due to take effect on 18 gennaio, say it is aimed at protecting fairness in school sports by eliminating what they see as an inherent physical competitive advantage of transgender athletes playing on female teams.
Seven other states have passed similar laws this year as part of a Republican-led national campaign that started in March 2020. That’s when Idaho barred athletes who were assigned a male gender at birth from competing on teams against those assigned as female in public schools or colleges. Enforcement of the Idaho ban has been blocked by a federal court pending the outcome of a legal challenge.
Other states whose legislatures have followed Idaho’s lead include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee and West Virginia, while South Dakota’s governor acted by executive order. Some of those are likewise under court challenge.
Ancora, almeno 35 bills to exclude transgender youth from athletics have been introduced in 31 states this year, dal 29 nel 2020 and two in 2019, according to a tally earlier this year by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The transgender sports measure marks the latest in a slate of right-wing bills advanced by Texas’ legislature and Republican governor this year, including laws placing new restrictions on voting e aborto.