Texas Senate votes to ban student athletes from choosing teams based on 'gender identity'

Teams will be restricted solely to sex-based assignment.

Updated: October 16, 2021 - 4:34pm

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The Texas Senate this week passed a bill that, if it clears the state House and becomes law, will forbid student athletes from choosing teams based upon their gender identity.

Bill HB 25 stipulates that schools may not allow students "to compete in an interscholastic athletic competition...that is designated for the biological sex opposite to the student’s biological sex."

The law would apply "to any interscholastic athletic competition sponsored or authorized by a school district or open-enrollment charter school."

The issue of students choosing teams based upon their sense of gender identity has become a flashpoint in the culture wars in recent years.  LGBTQ activists argue that it is a matter of justice and fairness, while critics counter that allowing males who identify as girls to compete against female athletes would create an inherently unfair imbalance.

The bill previously passed the Texas House earlier this week; the Senate subsequently passed it, but with some amendments, which the House must sign off on before it heads to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.