FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2023
CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs tonight heard Senate Bill 15, which seeks to bar transgender athletes from competing in collegiate sports.
The committee left SB 15 pending.
Texas Freedom Network Organizing Director Adri Pérez (they/them) issued the following response:
“Bills like SB 15 perpetuate hate while heightening the levels of discrimination—and even outright violence—that transgender children and adults already experience in Texas. We also know that the mere debate of bans like this has devastating consequences on the mental health of our community. In May of 2021, the Transgender Lifeline saw a 72% increase in crisis calls from Texas while the K-12 sports ban was being debated. With the Chair of the State Affairs Committee choosing to hear SB 15, anti-LGBTQIA+ legislators are now setting their callous sights on collegiate student-athletes at higher education institutions.
“In 2021, we saw the right’s cruel focus on a vulnerable minority when they banned transgender children in grades K-12 from playing sports. This bill is not about safety or fair competition. It’s about a relentless culture war started by politicians who want to create problems that do not exist, all to stoke fear and hate to ignite their base. We’ve seen these tactics used to take away our freedoms time and time again, and while their strategy is compassionless and harmful, it is not new. We are ready to fight back with everything we have alongside the LGBTQIA+ community, and we refuse to be silent while the Texas Legislature tries to erase the existence of our transgender neighbors and community members.”
SB 15 is one of many bills that attacks the LGBTQIA+ community. 137 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills have been filed this session.