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A bill that would prohibit transgender athletes from competing on college teams that match their gender identity is heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for approval.

The Senate on Friday authorized minor modifications the Residence produced to Senate Bill 15 ahead of sending it to the governor, who has currently mentioned he would assistance such legislation.

On the Senate floor, Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, and Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston, clarified that the legislation only applies to intercollegiate sports among schools, not intramural sports that are far more casual and frequently co-ed games. The vote was 19-12.

All through the legislative session, LGBTQ advocates have railed against the bill.

“S.B. 15 is but one more invasive, impractical measure mandated by the Texas legislature to ‘fix’ a dilemma that does not exist,” mentioned Melodía Gutiérrez, Texas director for the Human Rights Campaign in a press release earlier this month. “Every student deserves the similar probabilities to engage in sportsmanship, self-discipline, and teamwork, and to develop a sense of belonging with their peers. We really should not discriminate against or ban any student from playing since they’re transgender.”

Senate Bill 15 demands athletes to join the college sports teams that align with their sex assigned at birth, regardless of their gender identity. It delivers whistleblower protections for men and women who report violations at a university athletics system and permits men and women to file civil lawsuits against a college or university if they think the institution has violated the law.

Beneath the bill, ladies would be permitted to join a men’s sports group if the college does not have a women’s group for the similar sport.

The bill is a single of various that the Legislature is thinking about this session that could bring important modifications to the lives of gay and transgender Texans. But it is unclear what effect this bill would have right away in Texas’ public universities. According to an Austin American-Statesman survey of Texas public universities, the vast majority of Texas schools responded that, to their understanding, they had not had a transgender athlete compete for their university.

For far more than a decade, the NCAA has permitted transgender ladies to participate in women’s sports if they had at least a single year of testosterone suppression medication to treat gender dysphoria. But final year, the conference’s board of governors adopted a new policy that determined trans athletes’ qualifications for participation on a sport-by-sport basis. LGBTQ advocates decried the adjust as the conference bowing to political stress from these who disapproved of the organization’s choice to permit Lia Thomas, a trans lady, to compete on the women’s swimming group at the University of Pennsylvania.

The new NCAA policy is nevertheless getting phased in. As of now, trans athletes who want to participate in college sports need to meet earlier policy specifications set in 2010 and report their testosterone levels at the commence of the season and six months into competitors.

Legal authorities say the Texas legislation could open up universities to Title IX lawsuits. In 2021, the Biden administration mentioned that law, which was produced far more than 50 years ago to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, applies to LGBTQ students. Final month, the administration proposed an amendment to Title IX that would prohibit blanket bans barring transgender students from participating on sports teams constant with their gender identity.

The proposal faced mixed testimonials from LGBTQ advocacy groups that say it would nevertheless permit for discrimination against trans students, though critics say it would threaten women’s sports.

“[T]he Department’s proposed regulation would try to coerce compliance with an uncertain, fluid, and absolutely subjective normal that is primarily based on a hugely politicized gender ideology,” 25 Republican governors, such as Abbott, wrote in a joint comment. “Most troubling, the proposed regulation would turn the objective of Title IX on its head and threaten the quite a few achievements of ladies in athletics.”

Final month, the U.S. Residence of Representatives authorized a bill that would amend Title IX to call for student athletes to participate on sports teams primarily based on their sex assigned at birth. The legislation is unlikely to pass in the U.S. Senate, exactly where Democrats have narrow manage.

Disclosure: Human Rights Campaign has been a economic supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in aspect by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Economic supporters play no part in the Tribune’s journalism. Come across a comprehensive list of them right here.

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