Legislation that would limit transgender students’ participation in school sports advanced out of a Senate committee on Monday after similar legislation failed to pass during the regular session.
With no Democratic members present after dozens of Democrats fled the state, in an attempt to halt GOP-backed voting restrictions legislation, six Republicans on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee still had a quorum and held their first public hearing on two bills during the days-old special legislative session. Gov. Greg Abbott added the issue to lawmakers’ agenda when he called the special session.
Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, who is also vice chair of the committee and who authored Senate Bill 2 and Senate Bill 32, said the bills would protect cisgender women’s rights to compete in their desired sports.
Both of the bills would require student athletes to participate on sports teams that correspond with the student’s sex assigned at birth or listed on their official birth certificate at or near the time of birth, The Texas Tribune reports. SB 32 would impact sports at K-12 public schools, while SB 2 covers both K-12 and public colleges and universities.