The Texas House voted 76-54 to pass House Bill 25 (HB 25), “An act relating to requiring public school students to compete in interscholastic athletic competitions based on biological sex.”
The Texas Tribune reported that the “Save Women’s Sports” measure will now head to the Senate, where it is likely to pass.
The act defines “biological sex” as “the physical condition of being male or female as determined by the sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profile of the individual at birth.”
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT activist organization in the U.S., decried the decision, calling it “discriminatory” and saying, “Transgender young people deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends like any kid. Texas legislators are putting the second-largest LGBTQ+ population in the country at significant health and safety risk.”
But the organization Save Women’s Sports, “a coalition that seeks to preserve biology-based eligibility standards for participation in female sports,” applauded the Texas House. The organization “opposes male bodies in women’s sports” and said they were confident the bill would be passed into law.
Beth Stelzer, an amateur powerlifter and founder of the organization, had testified in favor of HB 25. She said she was the victim of male violent sexual assault and stalking, and powerlifting helped her through post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Females like me rely on sex-separated spaces to remain feeling safe and to grow,” Steltzer said. She spoke against the transgender ideology that “is trying to force us to comply with lies and accept feelings as facts.”
“Sponsorships, scholarships and jobs are on the line” for females who are “being told to just shut up and be nice and accept this,” she added. Steltzer said she gets death threats and is bullied on social media for testifying and simply stating the truth “that males are not females.”
In her passionate appeal to the legislature, Stetzer said, “The human species is dimorphic, not on a spectrum. You cannot change sexes. The Y chromosome will always remain and maintain the physical differences between the sexes, down to the cellular level.”
Passage of the bill came just two weeks after a report from the United Kingdom’s Sports Councils Equality Group, which found that men who identify as women “retained differences in strength, stamina and physique” compared with the average woman. These differences remained despite testosterone suppression and taking female hormones.
The organization said that “Competitive fairness cannot be reconciled with self-identification into the female category in gender-affected sport.”
Stetzer said the issue should not be political, that it was “common sense.” Let’s hope that common sense prevails as the bill moves to the Senate.
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