Texas passes bill to protect girls' sports

In their third special session, the Texas legislature passed a bill that would protect girls and women from being forced to compete against biological males in athletics.

After nearly ten hours of debate, House Bill 25 passed mostly along party lines, 76-54, on October 14. It went to the Senate the next day where it passed 19-12. The bill went back to the House and was approved a final time 76-61. The third special session ended Monday.

This marks the fourth time this year the Texas legislature has tried to pass a measure protecting females playing athletics. Legislation protecting females in sports had passed in the Texas Senate but failed in the House three previous times, once in the regular session and twice in special sessions. Governor Greg Abbott has said he will sign the bill.

HB 25 ensures that biological girls will compete only against other biological girls with one exception: The bill would allow biological girls to play on a boys sports team if there isn't a girls team for that sport and the University Interscholastic League (UIL) allows it. House Bill 25 also does not allow transgender students to join teams with recent birth certificate changes as proof of gender. The gender on the birth certificate must have been entered "at or near the time of the student 's birth."