Governor Abbott Signs Bill Restricting Participation of Trans Athletes in Collegiate Sports in Yet Another Attack on LGBTQIA+ Texans

June 15, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt, [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Abbott today signed SB 15. The bill will ban transgender collegiate athletes from competing on teams that align with their gender identity.

SB 15 passed through the Texas House on May 18. The law will go into effect on September 1.

Texas Freedom Network Vice President of Programs Marti Bier (they/them) issued the following response​:

“SB 15 is yet another harmful attack from anti-LGBTQ lawmakers on transgender Texans’ right to be embraced, accepted, and able to thrive — particularly in Texas’ public universities and colleges. This bill would blatantly invalidate trans experiences by forcing trans college athletes to compete on teams that do not align with their gender identity. Just like their fellow athletes, trans athletes vary in ability and body type — factors such as physical training, conditioning, dedication, and experience determine athletic performance more than anything else. Texas’ talented student-athletes deserve the freedom to bring their full selves to the field and court.

“Even as elected officials ignore their duty to serve Texans and instead target a vulnerable minority, create problems that do not exist, and use our taxpayer dollars to do so — transgender lives can never be erased. No matter what laws are passed by the extremists currently in power, our communities will find love and support within each other. We’ll work together to remove hateful politicians from office who are enacting laws that harm Texans and their loved ones.”