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Abbott Voices Support for Barring Collegiate-Level Transgender Athletes from Competing on Gender-Matching Teams

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Feb. 11 that he would support legislation barring collegiate-level transgender student athletes from competing on teams matching their gender, The Texas Tribune reported.Gov. Greg AbbottGov. Greg Abbott

“This next session, we will pass a law prohibiting biological men to compete against women in college sports,” Abbott said during an interview with former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at the Young America’s Foundation Freedom conference.

This legislative session, Republican lawmakers have filed two bills — Senate Bill 649 and House Bill 23 — affecting sports participation of transgender college students. Such bills could lead to tension, given that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors has historically prioritized inclusion of transgender student athletes.

In 2021, the NCAA board announced it will only hold championships where transgender student athletes could participate without discrimination. At least 20 Texas schools compete in NCAA competitions, including the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, and Texas A&M University.

Texas state lawmakers in 2021 restricted trans student athletes from playing on K-12 sports teams matching their gender. Previously, Abbott had shown reluctance for extending these restrictions to college athletes.Bottom of Form

Republican lawmakers are also attempting to criminalize types of gender-affirming care for minors and restrict lessons about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

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