Politics

Abbott Signs Bill Banning Biological Boys From Competing On Girls Sports Teams

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation Monday completely banning biological boys from competing on girls sports teams — and vice versa.

The legislation prohibits transgender athletes from playing on public school sports teams that align with their gender identity rather than biological sex. The law will take effect in January and applies to all public schools, including universities.

The state previously prohibited transgender athletes from participating on sports teams that aligned with their gender identity but allowed for exceptions if the student legally changed their birth certificate, according to the Texas Tribune. The new legislation removes that option.

Republican State Rep. Valoree Swanson, who sponsored the bill, said during a committee hearing it’s “very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years,” according to the Texas Tribune. (RELATED: ‘In Fact,’ There’s Actually ‘Six’ Genders, Democrat Says With A Straight Face At An Actual Policy Hearing)

Equality Texas, a statewide political advocacy organization, criticized the new law in a tweet, calling it a form of “discrimination.”

“If Texans want to protect children, the goal shouldn’t be to prevent trans kids from participating in sports, but to give all kids the freedom to make friends & play without fearing the kind of discrimination many older trans people face on a daily basis,” the organization wrote.