OVERNIGHT: Bill to block transgender students from sports fails in Texas House

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Following nearly 14 hours of delay tactics by Democrats, the Texas House failed to pass a measure to require transgender student-athletes to participate in sports that match their biological sex rather than their gender identity.

Those delay efforts ranged from extensive question and answer periods during bill layouts to introduction of multiple long-winded debates relating to bill amendments. Some liberal lawmakers even recited stanzas of the Texas state song and the national anthem during discussion about a bill to require professional sports teams that have contracts with governmental entities to play the national anthem before games.

The delays focused on Senate Bill 29, which was spearheaded by Lubbock Republican Rep. Charles Perry and written by 16 Republicans in the Senate, which that chamber passed along party lines in April.

After a failed vote in committee earlier this month, the House revived the controversial legislation after the chair of the public education committee called it to a vote in a retaliatory move when fellow Democrats derailed a bill of his.

SB 29 states a student cannot participate in an athletic activity “that is designated for the biological sex opposite to the student’s biological sex as determined at the student’s birth and correctly stated on the student’s official birth certificate.” The bill would also require students to show their original, unchanged birth certificate to prove their “biological sex.”

“Senate Bill 29 ensures that biologically born men and boys will not be allowed to compete against women and girls in individual and team sports or for sports scholarships,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement in April.

The Texas House LGBTQ Caucus released a statement after the bill was voted out of House committee earlier in May, saying the bill “hurts Texas children” by excluding transgender youth from sports that can help their health and wellbeing, and potentially puts them at risk of bullying and exclusion.

SB 29, along with other bills on the House calendar that did not get a vote on 2nd reading, is dead this legislative session.

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