Texas Rep. files Save Women’s Sports Act
A Texas state representative filed a bill to safeguard women’s sports for the upcoming legislative session.
The bill expands on a 2021 ruling and would require collegiate athletes compete as their biological sex.
Texas State Representative Valoree Swanson filed a bill to safeguard women’s sports on Monday, making the issue a legislative priority for the term.
House Bill 23, the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” requires K-12 and collegiate athletes to compete in the division according to their biological sex and matched to their birth certificate.
While biological men would be barred from competing in women’s sports, the bill does include an exception for biological women to compete on men’s teams if an alternative is not offered.
House Bill 23 was filed amongst a slew of other bills authored by newly elected lawmakers in the Lone Star State. Nov. 14 is recognized as “Bill Filing Day” in the Texas legislature as it is the first day that legislators can file bills for the 88th session, which begins Jan. 10.
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The bill expands on House Bill 25, also authored by Swanson, which was enacted last October and established gender requirements for K-12 athletes. The bill will be enacted immediately if it receives a two-thirds majority in both chambers.
Should the vote count fall short, the bill could take effect on September 1, 2023.
Swanson declared her intent to file the bill in October and wrote in a press release that the issue would be “one of [her] top priorities during this session.”
“I will never back down from standing up to protect girls and women in our schools,” Swanson wrote. “I intend to fight for this legislation, and work with everyone who wants to protect our female college athletes!"
Several states have passed laws that require athletes to compete based on their biological sex. The issue gained traction during the summer after transgender swimmer Lia Thomas rocked the waves at the 2022 NCAA Women’s Swimming Championship by taking home a national title.
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Additionally, the Biden administration celebrated the 50-year anniversary of Title IX by unveiling new guidance that would extend the federal rule to transgender students.
The rule was enacted by Congress in 1972 to prohibit discrimination based on sex. The Department of Education’s draft, which has since concluded its public comment phase, would enlist “gender identity” as a protected class.
Critics allege the ruling could pose a threat to women’s sports, however, the administration asserts it will make a separate ruling on athletics.
Campus Reform contacted Swanson’s office for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.