Texas Senate passes bill to let officials ban trans wrestler from competing
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.”
Hall has denied that the bill is connected to the case of Mack Beggs, a trans teen who was banned from competing in male competitions despite having transitioned to male.
The bill was given final approval on Tuesday by the Texas Senate.
Senators voted 24-7 to pass the bill. It is expected that it will not pass through the House successfully.
THe Human Rights Campaign urges House leaders to block the bill’s progress.
Senator Sylvia Garcia said she thought Hall was lying about not introducing the bill in response to Beggs’ case.
Earlier this year, a lawsuit was dismissed which sought to have Beggs banned from competing.
The lawsuit against the university interscholastic league (UIL) was dismissed last month by a Travis County judge.
It had claimed that the UIL should have stopped Beggs from competing, and winning a girls’ wrestling state championship.
This is despite that Beggs had asked to compete in the male championship but was originally denied that right.
The lawsuit suggested that, despite Beggs taking testosterone under a “safe harbor” provision, that he caused a higher risk of injury to other wrestlers and carried an unfair adventage.
It was brought by Coppell lawyer Jim Baudhuin, and alleged that the UIL was not adhering to its own policies on use of steroids.
The case was dismissed after the UIL filed a Plea of Jurisdiction.
“It was kind of expected,” said Damon McNew, Beggs’ stepfather.
“It’s what the UIL stated a little bit after the competition.”
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Beggs was earlier this year given approval to compete against males, but there’s a catch.
The teen was told after winning the girls’ championship that he would be allowed to wrestle boys but only 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.
The policy change came a month after Beggs won the girls’ state wrestling title – much to the dismay of parents of other contenders who took legal action to sue the 17-year-old.
Parents argued that Beggs had an “unfair advantage” because of his testosterone treatment, although he was literally forced to compete in the girls 110 pound category.