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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law on Monday that restricts transgender youth in public school sports teams.
The law, House Bill 25, which says K-12 students must play with their assigned sex at birth, goes into effect in January.
Proponents say such legislation protects biological women against unfair advantages. The bill has also faced its fair share of backlash. A White House spokesperson called it "hateful."
Republican state Rep. Valoree Swanson, who authored the bill, said she was "overjoyed" the GOP governor signed the bill into law. “It's so very, very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years,” Swanson said.
The new law is even more aggressive than standing rules for Texas universities, where a student's gender is based on the birth certificate, but they allow the certificate to be changed to reflect one's gender identity, according to the Texas Tribune.
Texas is the 10th state to pass a law banning transgender youth from playing sports with their new gender. Legal challenges have been filed in Florida and West Virginia.
“This hateful bill in Texas is just the latest example of Republican state lawmakers using legislation to target transgender kids, whom the president believes are some of the bravest Americans, in order to score political points,” White House spokesman Ike Hajinazarian told the Dallas Morning News. “These anti-transgender bills are nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation and undermine our nation’s core values.”
Amit Paley, the CEO of the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, was concerned about the effect the new law will have on the mental health of transgender students.
"Transgender and nonbinary youth are already at higher risk for poor mental health and suicide because of bullying, discrimination, and rejection. This misguided legislation will only make matters worse," Paley said, according to the Advocate.
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Original Author: Misty Severi