AUSTIN (LifeSiteNews) — Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed a law requiring participation in student athletic competition to be defined by sex rather than “gender identity.”
House Bill 25 requires interscholastic athletic teams “sponsored or authorized by a school district or open-enrollment charter school” to only allow students to compete in sex-specific competitions if alignment with the biological sex “correctly stated” on a student’s birth certificate (or another government record, if a birth certificate is “unobtainable”).
The only exception is that female students may be allowed to participate in male competitions “if a corresponding interscholastic athletic competition designated for female students is not offered or available.”
The Texas Tribune reports that Republican state Rep. Valoree Swanson, the bill’s author, said she is “overjoyed” that Abbott signed HB 25. “It’s so very, very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years,” she said.
LGBT activists argue that individuals suffering from gender dysphoria should be recognized as their desired sex rather than their real sex in virtually all aspects of society, including sex-segregated activities. Conservatives argue that indulging transgender athletes in this way undermines the rational basis for gendered athletics and deprives female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities.
Scientific research affirms that physiology gives males distinct advantages in athletics, which hormone suppression does not suffice to cancel out.
In a paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy”; therefore, “the advantage to transwomen (biological men) afforded by the (International Olympic Committee) guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”
In signing HB 25, Abbott has put himself in alignment with other Republican governors who have acted to protect women’s sports, such as Ron DeSantis of Florida, as opposed to those who have vetoed similar legislation, such as Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Doug Burgum of North Dakota.