BREAKING: Human rights campaign criticizes Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for signing legislation to ban discriminatory anti-trans sports
AUSTIN, Texas – Today Texas Gov. Greg Abbott enacted the TX HB 25 Act, discriminatory legislation that prohibits transgender youth from participating in sports alongside their peers, after signing an anti-trans sports measure to the agenda of the three special sessions. Texas becomes tenth state to enact anti-transgender sports ban legislation, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota (by executive order) , Tennessee and West Virginia. Texas becomes the state with the largest LGBTQ + population and the largest economy to enact discriminatory anti-transgender legislation after introducing more anti-LGBTQ + bills than any state in 2021.
During each of this year’s four sessions, the Human Rights Campaign joined with coalition partners including the Transgender Equality Network of Texas, Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas, Texas Freedom Network, Lambda Legal and others to oppose these measures. After the last step of HB 25 to become law, Texas Human Rights Campaign Director Rebecca Marques said:
“It is a dark and frightening day for thousands of families in Texas who fear for the safety and future of their transgender children. Transgender animosity is on the rise in Texas and across the country, as evidenced by discriminatory legislation, and this only serves to ignite the hatred we see. Transgender children, like any child, just want to play sports with their friends. They are denied this chance by lawmakers whose arguments are not supported by evidence, educators, medical consensus, or science.
This bill has always been a right-wing political “solution” looking for a problem, as Gov. Abbott and Texas lawmakers did not provide examples of problems in the state because he did not. there just aren’t any. In fact, the only Texas incident they cite – the participation of a transgender boy forced to participate in a women’s wrestling competition, is in fact the very situation this bill would impose.
Governor Abbott’s relentless pursuit of an abortion ban and anti-transgender legislation over several special sessions shows he is more focused on calling for a radical primary base than he is resolving to real problems like repairing the power grid against extreme weather conditions. The Human Rights Campaign will use every tool in the toolkit to prevent this law from coming into force and will fight to repeal this bill and all anti-transgender bills in the country.
Texas transgender youth love Adelyne, 12 years old and Libby Gonzales, 11 and their families have spoken out against this dangerous law, telling their stories and talking about the direct harm these bills would do to them if passed.
Legislation similar to TX HB 25 was passed by the Senate and considered by the House during the ordinary legislative session and the first two extraordinary sessions. Because the passage through the traditional jurisdiction committee of the House, the House public education committee, could not be assured, this session, the bill was sent through the Committee on Constitutional Rights and Appeals, a committee created by the Speaker of the Texas House in July expressly to deal with priority. extraordinary session bills.
In Texas and states across the country, lawmakers across the country have failed to provide examples problems in their states to try to justify these attacks on transgender youth, exposing the reality that they are fueled by discrimination and not supported by fact. College and professional sports organizations have had trans inclusion policies for years without incident.
Nationally in 2021, 25 anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted, including 13 specifically anti-transgender laws in 8 states. Over 280 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in 33 states this session, including over 130 specifically anti-transgender bills. Each of these marks set a new record for anti-equality legislation introduced and enacted in a single-state legislative session since the Human Rights Campaign began tracking the legislation.
Wide Range of Business and Advocacy Groups, Athletes Oppose Anti-Trans Legislation
- Over 150 major American companies stood up and spoke out against proposed anti-transgender legislation in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber and Verizon in opposing these bills. . Four of America’s largest food companies also condemned “dangerous and discriminatory legislation which constitutes an attack on LGBTQ + people, in particular transgender and non-binary people”, and the The Walton Family Foundation released a statement expressing “concern” over the trend towards anti-transgender legislation that has recently become law in Arkansas.
- The main health and child protection groups in the country representing more than 7 million professionals serving young people and more than 1,000 child welfare organizations issued an open letter calling on state lawmakers across the country to oppose dozens of bills targeting LGBTQ people , and transgender children in particular.
- Nearly 550 college athletes resisted anti-transgender legislationn demanding that the NCAA withdraw championships from states with anti-transportation legislation
Trans Equality Popular: Anti-Transgender Laws Low Priority, Even Among Trump Voters
A PBS / NPR / Marist poll say 67% of Americans, including 66% of Republicans, oppose anti-transgender sports ban legislation that is proliferating in 30 states.
In a survey conducted in 10 states, including Texas, by Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:
- At least 60% of Trump voters in each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should be able to live freely and openly.
- At least 87% of respondents in each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should have equal access to medical care
- When respondents were asked how they prioritize the importance of banning transgender people from participating in sports over other political issues, the question came last, with between 1 % and 3% prioritizing it.
Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group found that when it comes to the participation of transgender youth in sports, the strong public inclination is on the side of equity and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sport is important in the lives of young people. Transgender youth should be given the opportunity to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.
States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal and reputational harm
Analyzes carried out in the wake of previous anti-transgender bills that divide across the country, such as the toilet bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and a ban on anti-transgender sports in Idaho, show that ‘there would or have been devastating fallout.
- Idaho was the first state to pass an anti-trans sports ban to date, and this law was promptly suspended by federal district court. As more bans were passed this year, litigation quickly followed. In July, a West Virginia Federal District Court issued a preliminary injunction, stopping the application of state law which created a ban on transgender girls and women from playing sports compatible with their gender identity, a law that came into effect earlier in July.
- Also in July, an Arkansas federal district court has temporarily blocked the discriminationw that allegedly denied transgender youth in the state medically necessary, evidence-based, best practice and age-appropriate care.
- The Associated Press projected that the toilet bill in North Carolina could have cost the state $ 3.76 billion over 10 years.
- In a scuffle over an anti-transgender toilet bill in 2017, the Texas Association of Business estimates $ 8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process due to cancellations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting events, the ban on taxpayer-funded travel to these states, the cancellation of film productions and companies moving projects out of state.
These bills are solutions looking for problems that are driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local lawmakers or Texan concerns.
These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills into state houses – hateful anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group) and Eagle. Forum among others.