The Texas Senate has given final approval to a bill, which would allow a transgender wrestler to be banned from competing.
The bill, SB 2095, sponsored by Senator Bob Hall, would allow the University Scholastic League, which governs student sports competitions to make a determination, “which may result in ineligibility, related to safety and fair play that would apply to students who are using steroids under a doctor’s care.”
Texas law already prohibits steroid use in sports, but a safe harbour provision in the state education code previously allowed transgender students using hormone therapy to continue participating in competitive sports. The student-athlete bill would amend that provision, essentially removing protections for trans student-athletes.
Sen. Hall told The Texas Tribune recently;
This bill is not addressing who plays on what sports. This bill is addressing individuals who … are taking steroids, then makes sure, as a result of that, the events remain safe and fair.”
The bill was introduced after a 17-year-old transgender wrestler, Mack Beggs, won the girls’ state championship.
Beggs and his parents wanted him to wrestle in the boys’ league, but Texas regulations require that students compete according to their assigned gender at birth, meaning Beggs had to wrestle girls during the championship.
Sadly, a lawsuit was sought to have Beggs banned from competing, by the parents of the other wrestlers – argueingthat Beggs had an “unfair advantage” because of his testosterone treatment, although he was literally forced to compete in the girls 110 pound category.
The lawsuit was dismissed last month by a Travis County judge.
Beggs has since been told that he would be allowed to wrestle boys, but there’s a catch.
He could only wrestle them during the off-season.
The policy, which allows Beggs to fight against male opponents, is newly adopted by USA Wrestling. It determines that female to male trans people are only allowed to compete in the male category.
However, this goes against a policy instated by the University Interscholastic League, which requires public school students to compete in the gender category that they were assigned at birth.