Texas Senate Passes Bill Limiting Transgender College Athletes

Texas Senate, Transgender College Athletes, SB15, Save Women's Sports Act, Mayes Middleton, Transgender Sports Teams

Smart Austin Concierge

March 31, 2023

On March 29th, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 15, a bill filed by Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston, which would limit which college sports teams transgender athletes can join. If this bill becomes law, transgender women would not be able to join women’s sports teams, and transgender men would not be able to join men’s sports teams. This bill has been deemed the “Save Women’s Sports Act” and was passed with a 19-12 vote.

Supporters of the bill say it will increase fairness in college sports, while LGBTQ+ advocates argue that it discriminates against transgender athletes. Ash Hall, the policy and advocacy strategist on LGBTQ+ rights for the ACLU of Texas, said transgender women do not have a biological advantage over their opponents and teammates. Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, D-Austin, spoke in opposition to the bill before the chamber’s vote March 29, saying “We are hounding an already bullied class of Texas young people.”

The bill is among the priorities of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who leads the Texas Senate, and Gov. Greg Abbott has also expressed support for this type of legislation.