The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, has responded to the passage
of an anti-transgender youth sports bill in Texas.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed
the legislation, House Bill 25, into law on Monday.
The law requires all transgender
student athletes in grades K-12 to play on sports teams that
correspond to the “biological sex” listed on their birth
Similar laws have been enacted in
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota
(by executive order), Tennessee, and West Virginia.
HRC, which had called on Abbott to veto
the bill, called Monday a “dark day” for thousands of families in
“This is a dark and frightening day
for thousands of families in Texas who fear for the safety and future
of their transgender children,” HRC Texas State Director Rebecca
Marques said in a statement. “Transgender animus is on the rise in
Texas and across the country as evidenced by discriminatory
legislation, and this only serves to give fire to the hate we’re
seeing. Transgender kids, just like any kid, simply want to play
sports with their friends. They are being denied that chance by
legislators whose arguments are not backed up by evidence, educators,
medical consensus, or science.”
“This bill has always been a
right-wing political 'solution' in search of a problem, as Governor
Abbott and Texas legislators have failed to provide examples of any
issues in the state because there simply are none.”
“Governor Abbott’s relentless
pursuit of an abortion ban and anti-transgender legislation during
multiple special sessions shows that he is more focused on appealing
to a radical primary base than he is solving real problems like
fixing the electrical grid against extreme weather. The Human Rights
Campaign will use every tool in the toolkit to stop this law from
taking effect and fighting to repeal this and every anti-transgender
bill in the country,” Marques said.
Republicans approved House Bill 25 with
the help of one Democrat, Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville.