Vote NO on SB1736/HB1689 in Committee
Please, vote NO on SB1736/HB1689 when it comes to your committee.
I oppose any effort to exclude transgender students from school sports. Every student deserves to have access to the physical and mental health benefits of participating in school sports. And it is wrong to use the law to stigmatize transgender students.
This bill seems like a rushed effort with little input from transgender students and experts who have developed policies for the NCAA and other sports bodies. And that brings up the point that the TSSAA should be developing policies rather than the Legislature using the law to impose a solution. It opens the door to the Legislature imposing other eligibility requirements for school sports and that can quickly become micromanagement.
You should also consider what burden this policy imposes on school systems. By tying proof of gender to birth certificates, the bill means that schools will have change how they keep records and develop new policies and procedures, especially for students born in other states. Every state has its own regulations on amended birth certificates. There would also be a cost to parents to obtain birth certificates to be used as "proof."
Texas has tried this policy with failing results. Consider the example of transgender wrestler Mack Beggs. Though he wanted to wrestle in the boys' division, he was forced to wrestle in the girls' division, where he won two state titles, because his birth certificate said he was female.
This bill is bad for students, bad for schools, and it represents overreach by the Legislature into issues of eligibility for sports participation.
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