The Texas House passed a bill preventing transgender students from playing on sports teams based on their gender identities.
On 14 October, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the state passed the bill by a vote of 76 to 54.
House Bill 25 will force trans students to play on school athletic teams that align with the gender listed on their birth certificates as opposed to how they identify now.
An array of Texan businesses including Amazon and American Airlines signed a letter opposing what it noted are efforts to exclude trans students from getting involved in community activities.
Despite this, Valoree Swanson, a Republican in favour of the bill, claims it will protect girls who take part in sports in school.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said that despite the setback, it will continue fighting for the rights of trans people by challenging similar bills alongside this one.
“BREAKING: The Texas House just voted to discriminate against trans kids and exclude them from playing sports as their authentic selves,” the organisation wrote on Twitter.
“For months, trans kids and advocates have been fighting against bills like HB 25. That fight doesn’t end tonight. #TransPeopleBelong.”
BREAKING: The Texas House just voted to discriminate against trans kids and exclude them from playing sports as their authentic selves.
For months, trans kids and advocates have been fighting against bills like HB 25. That fight doesn't end tonight. #TransPeopleBelong
— ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) October 15, 2021
The University Interscholastic League, which oversees K-12 public school sports in the state, determines gender through birth certificates – though amended ones are formally recognised.
NBC affiliate KXAN of Austin reports that there have been no complaints filed with the organisation over trans students competing in girls’ sports.
Nonetheless, House Bill 25’s Republican co-author, Stephanie Klick, said fairness to girls is her main priority.
Now that it has been approved by the House, it will next move to the Senate.