Republicans Choose National Student-Athlete Day to Advance Bill Banning Kids from Sports

AUSTIN, Texas — Today, on National Student-Athlete Day, Republicans in the Texas Senate are bringing their child-attacking bill SB 29 to the full Senate for a vote.

With a pandemic, ongoing fallout from the winter storm, and a struggling economy on their hands, Texas Republicans can find nothing better to do with their time than to make life harder for children. Senate Bill 29 is a cruel attack on Texas kids, designed to ban trans kids from playing sports on teams that match their gender identity. This would exclude kids from the myriad benefits of group sports — from health benefits, to athletic and social development, to making friends and being part of a team. Advocates also warn this would allow anyone to accuse and humiliate children by telling them they don’t belong — running the risk of subjecting kids to invasive privacy violations.

Republicans have moved the bill forward despite compelling testimony last month from parents, teens, educators, mental health professionals, and advocates. SB 29 is another reminder that Republicans are more focused on putting Texans in danger and stripping communities of their rights than addressing the issues that actually matter to Texans. Equality Texas is organizing efforts to fight this bill, and Texans can share their testimony, or sign on to letters from faith leaders, physicians, and sports fans, using these resources.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Senate Bill 29 is cruel, it’s wrong, and it’s anti-Texas. Republicans are wasting precious legislative time attacking the rights of trans kids. Not one child benefits from Texas Republicans’ anti-trans bills, and every kid deserves to play and participate with their peers.

“Texans are still coping with the fallout from the winter storm, still grieving loved ones they lost to COVID-19, and still scraping together the rent in a time of extreme economic uncertainty. If Texas Republicans care about the people they represent, they should tackle these problems. I encourage all Texans to support trans advocates’ work to stop this disgusting bill, by sharing testimony and adding their names to letters here.”